U.S. Physician Practices Shift From Ownership to Employment

The private practice model is slowly shifting toward hospital-owned and hospital employment

  • Surgical subspecialties rank highest for percentage of doctors (63%) in private practice.
  • Among surgical subspecialists, 44% work in single-specialty groups, 24% are in multispecialty groups, and 18% are in solo practice.
  • Ownership trends suggest that a smaller percentage of each successive class of physicians started post-residency work in an ownership position.
  • There is an important demographic shift afoot: When physicians who are practice owners retire, they tend to be replaced by physicians who are employees.


Ken CK. Policy Research Perspectives. Recent Changes in Physician Practice Arrangements: Shifts Away From Private Practice and Towards Larger Practice Size Continue Through 2022. American Medical Association. Accessed November 24, 2023.

Smith TM. 3 Top Reasons Why Doctors Are Selling Their Practices to Hospitals. American Medical Association. Accessed November 24, 2023.