You're carving out a bit more time for your personal life this year, and your retirement portfolios are on the mend - yet stress and a sense of being overworked and underpaid continue to plague you. Still, large majorities of you say that you like being a physician, are happy with your choice of specialty, and wouldn’t change anything about your career. All of it (and much more) is according to the results of the 2011Great American Physician Survey (read our full story here). We asked dozens of questions to gauge your attitudes toward your careers, the state of your personal happiness and physical health, your views on politics and healthcare policy - even your family lives. The result is the clearest view into the state of the American physician community available anywhere, and you can findit here exclusively.
Let’s finally set to rest the myth of the miserable American physician, shall we? Sure, you’re stressed. You wish you were better appreciated. You wish you had more time for your personal lives. And you continue to be troubled by a crazy malpractice system. But by and large you love your job, and most of you wouldn’t have things any other way.
Healthcare is not recession-proof, as our data clearly demonstrate. Many physicians, like Americans of all walks of life, find their personal finances straitened in the wake of the stock market collapse of 2008 and the ongoing sluggish economy. The vast majority of practices, meanwhile, say the troubled economy has affected their business operations, too, with only about one in seven left unharmed.
When it comes to your views of politics and public policy, physicians are like most Americans: divided. Although you tend to lean (slightly) left - belying the myth of the country club Republican physician - no clear consensus can be found among you on healthcare policy, and your vote in next year's election is up for grabs.
Your sense of personal and physical well-being mirrors that of your sense of professional satisfaction: Although you wish you had more time for family, you are, for the most part, happy and healthy.