Oregon Physicians Lining Up for Employment Opportunities
The number of employed physicians in Oregon is creeping up. A survey conducted by the Oregon Health Authority, in cooperation with the Oregon Medical Association, found that 51 percent of physician worked for a hospital, health insurer or health system in 2014. Data from that survey is expected to be released shortly, according to Shannon Grosswiler, who handles public relations for the OMA.
In 2012, a similar survey revealed that 48.3 percent of Oregon physicians identified themselves as being employed.
Because of these growing numbers, the OMA is in the process of re-evaluating how best to meet the needs of employed physicians, Bryan Boehringer, interim CEO, told The Lund Report. Boehringer took over the helm following the abrupt departure of CEO Jo Bryson in late April – a few days before its annual meeting at its Portland headquarters.
Boehringer says he’s not a candidate for that permanent role and prefers his earlier job as senior vice president of government relations and health policy, after joining the OMA six years ago.
“Frankly I’ve been so busy with the transition that I haven’t had time to think about it,” said Boehringer, who left open the possibility he might throw his hat in the ring. “I’m doing my best to keep everything on track here to make sure the OMA is as strong as possible before handing off the organization.”
The OMA has set up a nine-member CEO search committee that includes Dr. Nancy Hutnak, current president; Dr. Rob Orfaly, president elect; Dr. Marianne Parshley; Dr. John Moorhead; Dr. Jim Lace; Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer; Dr. Carla McKelvey; Dr. Rick Kincade and Beth Irish. It intends to conduct a national search that could take up to six months.
Currently the OMA has 8,000 members including students and retired professionals, with an active membership of 5,000. Of those, 1,106 members belong to the AMA – 970 physicians, 83 residents and 53 students.
“I’m proud to say our membership is very steady,” Boehringer said. The OMA is not unlike other trade associations, he added, as it seeks to attract the next generation of members and convince them to take an active role. “It’s a challenge everyone goes through.”
The OMA appeals to physicians and physician assistants who are looking for an advocate at the Legislature, he said. “We’re also hearing it’s a great place for them to gather and have conversations.”
In 1998, it began accepting physician assistants who now number 618 – of whom 455 work as PAs, 159 are PA students and 4 are retired.
The OMA is throwing a party for its medical and PA student members on Friday, Sept. 11, giving away $32,000 in scholarships to eight students from Oregon’s four main training programs.
Diane can be reached at [email protected].