Physicians' styles of practice

A. E. Boardman, B. E. Dowd, J. M. Eisenberg, S. V. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The authors have initiated a new line of inquiry into how physicians make decisions about their practices. They have developed a model involving physician preferences over bundles of medical practice attributes such as hours worked, fees, incomes, aides hired, types of patients, etc. They describe physician practices in terms of variables representing inputs to the production of services, output prices, and outputs themselves. Then they use factor analysis to identify clusters of these attributes that might characterize a style of practice, and they estimate a causal model which predicts the style of practice from a set of predetermined variables. Five styles are identified: many aides, high net income, many patients, and long hours; a high proportion of Medicaid and other low income patients; high fees, high income patients, and high net incomes; many patients with Medicare and other insurance; and many non-medical hours and many hours in non-patient-oriented professional activities. Consistent results on these styles were obtained using data from both the 1975 and 1976 Physicians' Practice Costs Surveys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Care Financing Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981


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