Physicians and surgeons held about 708,300 jobs in 2014. Many physicians work in private offices or clinics, often with a small staff of nurses and administrative personnel. Some practice independently or with a small group of other doctors. About 1 out of 10 physicians was self-employed in 2014.
Increasingly, physicians are working in group practices, healthcare organizations, or hospitals, where they share a large number of patients with other doctors. The group setting allows them more time off and lets them coordinate care for their patients, but it gives them less independence than solo practitioners have.
Surgeons and anesthesiologists usually work in sterile environments while performing surgery and may stand for long periods.
Most physicians and surgeons work full time. Many physicians and surgeons work long, irregular, and overnight hours. Physicians and surgeons may travel between their offices and hospitals to care for their patients. While on call, a physician may need to address a patient's concerns over the phone or make an emergency visit to a hospital or nursing home.