Characteristics of U.S. physicians in 2018

Portrait of a U.S. physician 2018 This statistic is based on a survey and provides a portrait of an average physician in the United States, as of 2018. As of that year, the average physician worked about 51 hours per week and 51 percent would not recommend medicine as a career.
Physicians in the U.S.

The characteristics defining a U.S. physician may vary greatly across the country. About 58 percent are employed at a hospital or with a medical group, while about 31 percent are employed at a private practice. Physician compensation can also vary widely based on medical specialty. Those in orthopedics earn about 497,000 U.S. dollars annually, while a physician in critical care earns about 354,000 U.S. dollars per year. As of 2018, California had the largest number of active specialist physicians, totaling 56,220 physicians.

About 51 percent of physicians would not recommend medicine as a career, where about 55 percent state that morale is very or somewhat negative due to stressors. About 54 percent of physicians in the country have stated that they have experienced burnout as of 2014. There has been an increased number of stressors such as the lack of a single payer system that has contributed to extensive insurance paper work and a decrease in independence for many physicians as hospitals purchase more private practices. Many, about 80 percent, also state that their workload is at their capacity or even overextended. Only about 11 percent of physicians spend 25 minutes or more with their patients.
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Percentage of physicians
Are employed by hospital or group58
Are in private practice31
Are in solo practice18
In groups of 11 or more44
Limit/do not see Medicaid patients32
Limit/do not see Medicare patients22
Spend between 11 and 15 hours each week on Non-clinical (paperwork) duties19
Say morale is very or somewhat negative55
Plan to retire in the next three years17
Will switch to concierge2
Workload at capacity or overextended80
Would not recommend medicine as a career51
Average hours per week (hours)51
Average patients seen per day (number)20
Percentage of physicians
Are employed by hospital or group58
Are in private practice31
Are in solo practice18
In groups of 11 or more44
Limit/do not see Medicaid patients32
Limit/do not see Medicare patients22
Spend between 11 and 15 hours each week on Non-clinical (paperwork) duties19
Say morale is very or somewhat negative55
Plan to retire in the next three years17
Will switch to concierge2
Workload at capacity or overextended80
Would not recommend medicine as a career51
Average hours per week (hours)51
Average patients seen per day (number)20
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This statistic is based on a survey and provides a portrait of an average physician in the United States, as of 2018. As of that year, the average physician worked about 51 hours per week and 51 percent would not recommend medicine as a career.
Physicians in the U.S.

The characteristics defining a U.S. physician may vary greatly across the country. About 58 percent are employed at a hospital or with a medical group, while about 31 percent are employed at a private practice. Physician compensation can also vary widely based on medical specialty. Those in orthopedics earn about 497,000 U.S. dollars annually, while a physician in critical care earns about 354,000 U.S. dollars per year. As of 2018, California had the largest number of active specialist physicians, totaling 56,220 physicians.

About 51 percent of physicians would not recommend medicine as a career, where about 55 percent state that morale is very or somewhat negative due to stressors. About 54 percent of physicians in the country have stated that they have experienced burnout as of 2014. There has been an increased number of stressors such as the lack of a single payer system that has contributed to extensive insurance paper work and a decrease in independence for many physicians as hospitals purchase more private practices. Many, about 80 percent, also state that their workload is at their capacity or even overextended. Only about 11 percent of physicians spend 25 minutes or more with their patients.
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Release date
September 2018
Region
United States
Survey time period
April to June 2018
Number of respondents
8,774 physicians
Method of interview
Online survey
Supplementary notes
Figures have been rounded.
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