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How Practice Setting Affects Physician Career Satisfaction

How Practice Setting Affects Physician Career Satisfaction

Are physicians that are co-owners or partners of practices more satisfied with their careers than physicians employed in hospitals and practices? A sneak peek at the results of Physicians Practice's 2013 Great American Physician Survey indicates this may indeed be the case.

Overall, 36 percent of the more than 1,100 physicians who responded to our survey said they were employed in a hospital or other institution, 34 percent said they were a partner/co-owner of a private practice, and 11 percent said they were employed in a practice. The remaining respondents said they were working in another clinical setting, employed in a non-clinical profession, or retired.

Physicians Practice analyzed the survey findings to determine how physicians' level of career satisfaction, specialty satisfaction, workplace satisfaction, and work-life balance varied depending on whether respondents were employed in hospitals or other institutions, employed in practices, or partners/co-owners of practices. Here are some of the more surprising findings:

Career satisfaction
Among the three groups, survey respondents who said they were partners/co-owners of a practice most strongly agreed with the statement: "I like being a physician." In fact, 62 percent of these respondents said they strongly agreed. That's about 10 percent more than respondents employed in hospitals or other institutions, and about 10 percent more than respondents employed in practices.

Career regrets
The majority of respondents in all three groups (about 60 percent) said that, if given the chance to go back in time and pick another career, they would do everything the way they had done it the first time.

Workplace satisfaction
Physicians employed in hospitals and other institutions agreed with the statement, "I often wish I could change workplaces," more often than physicians employed in practices and co-owners/ partners in practices. More specifically, 50 percent of physicians employed in hospitals and other institutions agreed with the statement, 35 percent of physicians employed in practices agreed, and only 31 percent of partners/co-owners agreed.

Among respondents who said they would prefer to work somewhere else, partners/co-owners in practices most commonly cited, "To get more time for my personal life," as the reason, while physicians employed in hospitals and another institutions and physicians employed in practices most commonly cited, "To get away from the unhealthy culture of my current workplace," as the reason.

Work/life balance
The majority of physicians in all three practice settings said they worked more than 40 hours per week, with physicians employed in hospitals and other institutions reporting working the most hours per week. In fact, 91 percent of physicians in this practice setting said they worked more than 40 hours per week, 88 percent of partners/co-owners said they worked more than 40 hours per week, and 82 percent of physicians employed in practices said they worked more than 40 hours per week.

Among all three groups, about 60 percent of respondents said they wished they worked fewer hours per week. Still, when asked, "What would you be willing to sacrifice in order to work less?" Forty three percent of partners/co-owners said they would sacrifice nothing. A slightly smaller percentage of respondents in the other two groups (about 34 percent) said they would sacrifice nothing. Among all three groups, about 35 percent of respondents said they would sacrifice money in order to work less.

Full data for this year’s survey will be available online in mid-August 2013 and in the September 2013 issue of Physicians Practice.

Do any of the survey findings related to practice setting surprise you? Why or why not?


 

 
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