Profile of Newly Licensed Physicians in Massachusetts 2016

In 2016 a total of 1908 physicians were newly licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts. That number represented 5.5% of all physicians licensed to practice during 2016. Approximately 2/3 of that increase represented recent graduates of medical schools, i.e. those who graduated since 2010.

A number of trends continued. The proportion of male and female newly licensed physicians continued to be equally split at approximately 50/50. The total of male newly licensed physicians was 966 or 24 more than the female total of 942. This proportion has continued for the past several years and contrasts with the existing physician population in Massachusetts that is 60% male.

There were slightly more new physicians indicating their principal medical specialty was Primary Care than the general physician population; and a corresponding decrease in the proportion of new physicians with a non Primary Care medical specialty. The gender differences accounted for this. Specifically there was a relatively large increase in new Primary Care male physicians and a relative decrease in non Primary Care physicians. For female physicians the opposite was true, i.e., a greater number of non Primary Care specialties and a lesser proportion of Primary Care physicians.

There were also differences in medical schooling. Approximately 80% of newly licensed physicians graduated from US or domestic medical schools and 20% from foreign based medical schools and that was true of both male and female physicians. Again there were gender differences when looking at medical school and medical specialty. There were a much larger percentage of new male Primary Care physicians graduating from foreign based medical schools than in the past. For female new physicians, there was a slight increase in the number of physicians graduating from domestic medical schools with non Primary Care specialties.

As one might suspect the practice organizations of newly licensed physicians in Massachusetts is weighted heavily to Hospitals. Specifically over half of newly licensed physicians were employed at Hospital locations. This understates the degree of hospital ‘employment’ because of the close links some groups and group practices have to hospital organizations. Only about 3% of newly licensed physicians could be considered to be employed as ‘solo’ physicians.



August 2018
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