Geneia survey: Physicians employed by hospitals and corporations more dissatisfied than independent doctors

November 19, 2018

Depressed young doctor with stethoscope

Corporate, hospital-owned physicians report lower levels of empathy for patients

Harrisburg, PA - A national survey conducted on behalf of Geneia, a healthcare analytic solutions and services company that is simplifying the evolution to value-based care, found physicians who are employed by hospitals and corporations are more dissatisfied and burned out than those who work independently and in physician-owned practices.

In a nationwide survey of 300 full-time physicians who have been practicing post-residency medicine for more than four years, Geneia discovered:

60 percent of all physicians agree “it happens more and more often that I talk about my work in a negative way.”

69 percent of corporate/hospital-owned physicians agree they are talking about work in a more negative way compared to 51 percent agreement among physician/independent-owned respondents, a +18 percentage point gap in opinion between ownership models.

Nearly all physicians (96 percent) report they have witnessed or experienced physician burnout impacts such as cynicism, severe stress, dissatisfied patients and lower empathy for patients. Physicians working in corporate or hospital-owned organizations were even more likely to witness or experience the negative impacts of physician burnout.

57 percent of physician-owned/independents report lower empathy for patients as the result of physician burnout compared to 72 percent of corporate/hospital-owned physicians, a gap of +15 percentage points.

“The costs and implications of epidemic levels of physician dissatisfaction are high,” said Aurel Iuga, MD, MBA, MPH, CMQ, Geneia chief medical officer. “Given the trend of hospitals and health plans acquiring physician practices combined with higher levels of physician burnout among these employed physicians, research shows an increased likelihood of a patient safety incident.”

Join Geneia in reversing epidemic levels of physician burnout

In October, Geneia revealed the Physician Misery Index has climbed to nearly 4 out of 5, and in response, called on all health IT companies to involve physicians in the design and implementation of health technology products and to measure physician satisfaction.

All health IT companies are invited to join Geneia in monitoring and addressing physician satisfaction and to use the company’s nine-question physician survey.

For more information on the Joy of Medicine initiative and to download the physician satisfaction survey, see:

Physicians who wish to take the survey and compare their answers to the national results are invited to visit:

The survey of physicians who have been practicing post-residency medicine for more than four years was conducted in July 2018. The margin of error is +/- 5.7 percentage points at the 95 percent level.


Geneia LLC is a healthcare analytic solutions and services company that focuses on improving systems to support personalized, patient-centered care. We help clients improve outcomes, lower costs and restore the Joy of Medicine to physician practice. Our technology, education and training, insights and clinical services simplify the evolution to value-based care and drive alignment and collaboration among healthcare providers, health plans and employers. The company has offices in Harrisburg, PA and Manchester, NH. To learn more, visit or connect with us Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.