More Doctors Report Job Dissatisfaction
A growing number of physicians are discontented with their profession, so much so that 59 percent in a recent national healthcare survey said they would not recommend their profession to a young person who is considering becoming a doctor.
In a survey of 3,456 physicians conducted by Jackson Healthcare Research in Alpharetta, GA, 42 percent of physicians reported feeling dissatisfied with being a physician, and 17 percent reported feeling very dissatisfied with their profession.
Dissatisfied physicians were more likely to be female and under age 45 and practicing in these areas:
- internal medicine
- primary care
- family medicine
- emergency medicine
- hospitalist/critical care
- musculoskeletal specialties
Dissatisfied physicians also were more likely to be:
- Practice owners, locum tenens physicians or employees of a single or multi-specialty
- In a practice owned by a hospital/health system
- Working 12 or more hours per day
- In a medical practice at its patient capacity
- Not using support from advanced practitioners.
Of the doctors surveyed, one in five reported being “very satisfied” with their jobs, and 38 percent reported being “somewhat satisfied”.
These physicians were:
- Hospital employees or employees of a physician-owned practice with no ownership stake
- Supported by nurse practitioners or physician assistants
- Practicing conscierge medicine
- Working 11 hours per day or less.
The survey found a trend for younger doctors to not to own their own practices. Additionally, more were working in hospitals, with 26 percent of physicians employed by a hospital in 2013 compared to 20 percent in 2012. Of doctors working in hospitals, 42 percent reported they did so because they did not want to deal with the administrative hassles of owning a practice.
They also stated they wanted to “be a doctor, not a businessperson” (32 percent), that there were better opportunities in a hospital (28 percent), and that they didn’t have enough money to start their own practice (27 percent).
When physicians who had switched from private practice to hospital employment were asked why they left, they listed:
- high overhead costs (45 percent)
- administrative hassles (34 percent)
- reimbursment cuts (32 percent)
Eighty-two percent said they take Medicare, which is the same as last year, but 88 percent said they were accepting new Medicare patients. More physicians (77 percent) also take Medicaid, which is a three-point increase over last year. Seventy percent take new Medicaid patients, which is up six points from last year.