HealthDay News — From 2001 to 2015 there was a decrease in the percentage of health care professionals who are self-employed and a decrease in the earning gap between self-employed and employed health care professionals, according to a study published online July 12 in JAMA Network Open.
Kamyar Nasseh, Ph.D., and Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., from the American Dental Association in Chicago, extracted data from the 2001 to 2015 American Community Survey to examine trends in self-employment and employment. Analyses were limited to 175,714 self-identified dentists, physicians, pharmacists, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractors, and physical therapists aged 30 years and older.
The researchers observed a decrease in the weighted percentage of self-employed physicians from 35.2 percent in 2001 through 2005 to 24.7 percent in 2011 through 2015. During the same period there was also a decrease in the percentage of self-employed dentists from 73.0 to 65.1 percent. The regression-adjusted earnings gap reversed among physicians from $19,679 during 2001 through 2005 to −$10,623 during 2011 through 2015. During the same period, the regression-adjusted earnings gap narrowed among dentists from $30,448 to $21,291. The earnings gap also reversed among pharmacists, optometrists, and podiatrists, while among chiropractors and physical therapists the gap narrowed.
“Since 2001, the percentage of health care professionals who are self-employed declined, and the gap in earnings between self-employed and employed health care professionals narrowed,” the authors write.