WHEN IT COMES to the number of shifts that hospitalists work per month, our latest survey found that on average, full-time adult hospitalists work 15 shifts per month. While we found some variations in shift number, the differences aren’t as pronounced as in other survey categories.
In areas like pay, for example, our survey has historically revealed big differences based on the type of group where hospitalists work. We also typically find variations in the number of patient encounters per shift by group type and region.
But for shifts per month, one of the biggest differences is tied to the type of patients that hospitalists treat. While adult hospitalists report working an average of 15 shifts per month, for example, pediatric hospitalists report a much lower number: 12.7.
Many of the other differences in the number of shifts worked per month are not nearly so big. When comparing academic and nonacademic hospitalists, for example, nonacademic hospitalists reported 15.2 shifts each month. That’s only about 2% more shifts per month than reported by nonacademic hospitalists.
Here’s a deeper look at differences in the number of shifts hospitalists work per month.
The type of group hospitalists work for affects their number of shifts per month. While hospitalists employed by hospitals—the largest group of respondents in our survey—said they pull 15 shifts monthly, the numbers were higher for groups that are typically smaller in size.
Hospitalists in multispecialty/primary care groups, for example, reported 16.3 shifts each month, while hospitalists in local hospitalist groups indicated working 15.8 shifts. Hospitalists employed by universities and medical schools, by comparison, reported fewer monthly shifts: 14.6.
In our surveys, geography can be an important variable. The Northeast, for example, has so many medical schools and universities. Because so many respondents there work in teaching hospitals, hospitalists in that region typically report lower compensation and patient volumes.
But in this year’s survey, hospitalists in the Northeast reported working 15.1 shifts per month. That is very close to—actually, a little above—the mean.
Other differences by region: Hospitalists in the Southwest, reported working 16.1 shifts per month. By contrast, hospitalists in the Mountain region reported 14.4 shifts per month, which is about 4% lower than average.
We should point out, however, that our data analysts warn that the small number of hospitalists from the Mountain region who responded to our survey—31—may make the data a little unstable.
Here are some other differences in how many shifts hospitalists reported working per month:
• Shift types. Hospitalists working seven-on/seven off reported 14.9 shifts a month. Hospitalists filling other types of day shifts had 15.7 shifts a month, while nocturnists said they work 13.3 shifts a month.
• Compensation. Not surprisingly, hospitalists paid based only on productivity reported an average of 17 shifts per month. Hospitalists paid via straight salary, by comparison, worked only 14.7 shifts per month.
• Burnout. Hospitalists reporting the lowest level of burnout said they work 14.3 shifts per month, while hospitalists with the highest level worked 15.1.
Look at more data on hospitalist productivity at our 2023 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey coverage.