About Physician Choice
California is facing serious challenges in meeting the medical needs of its 40 million residents because of a prolonged shortage and maldistribution of physicians. These challenges are particularly grave in both rural and urban underserved communities. While the shortage of physicians is a national issue, the situation is aggravated in California because of a nearly century-old law prohibiting doctors from choosing how and where they practice. California stands alone in this regard — the other 49 states give physicians the choice of being directly employed by all or some hospitals.
Nationwide, physicians are increasingly choosing to be directly employed because it allows them to focus on caring for patients instead of the hassles and uncertainties of running a small business. This is particularly true for newly graduated doctors, 45% of whom want to be directly employed by a hospital. California must start to expand the opportunities for physicians to choose how they work.