Aug 2013

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Aug 2013

NEW SURVEYS: Physicians, Dentists Report Varying Degrees of Job Satisfaction

Despite declining reimbursements, increasing overhead, healthcare reform and pressure to sell out to hospitals or align with large healthcare systems, physicians’ career and job satisfaction has remained largely unchanged from a few years ago. Dentists, on the other hand, are reporting higher-than-average job satisfaction. Recent surveys report revealing statistics…  

According to Physicians Practice 2013 Great American Physician Survey, stress over declining reimbursements, increasing overhead and pressure to align with larger healthcare systems, career satisfaction among private-practice physicians has remained relatively stable since 2009.

The survey included more than 1,100 physicians, including some 400 private practice partners and co-owners. Their 2013 survey responses released just last month indicated that their career satisfaction is increasing in some ways while decreasing in others.

For example, about ten percent more respondents strongly agreed with the statement, “I like being a physician." Using a scale from one to five (“strongly disagree” to “strongly agree") 62 percent of private-practice partners/co-owners strongly agreed.

The number of private-practice physicians who are happy with their career path has remained relatively stable over the past few years. About 60 percent of private- practice respondents said they would do it all again – about the same number as previous years.

More physicians would discourage their children from medical careers

Although the majority of private-practice physicians said they wouldn’t change their own personal career choices, more would discourage their children from pursuing careers in medicine. In 2013, about 18 percent said they would discourage their children from medical careers. That’s a significant increase over the 13 percent previously reported.

The reasons are not surprising. Private-practice physicians report that they are working longer hours and have much less time for personal and family life. In 2013, 88 percent of private-practice physicians said they worked more than 40 hours per week, up from 85 percent in 2010. In 2013, 73 percent of private-practice physicians reported that they don’t have as much personal time as they want, up from 67 percent in 2012.

More physicians wish they could change workplaces

In 2013, 31 percent of physicians wished they could change workplaces, up from 23 percent in 2010. The percentage planning to become hospital employees in the next five years doubled since 2012, from 3 percent to 6 percent.

Complete survey results will be published in the September issue of Physicians Practice.

Dentists have many reasons for job satisfaction

An upcoming survey by the National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) is expected to provide the latest statistics on dental job satisfaction. Other sources suggest that dentists already enjoy higher than average job satisfaction.

According to the US News & World Report’s 2013 Healthcare edition, dentistry ranks first in the “Best Healthcare Jobs” category. Dentists cite flexibility, time off, low stress, better-than-average compensation, working with their hands and helping people feel better about themselves as reasons for their overall satisfaction.

Their future looks bright, too. The dental profession is expected to grow more than 21 percent annually between now and 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate among dentists is currently less than 1 percent and there are still plenty of opportunities in the dental field. The current median compensation for dentists is nearly $143,000, or about $40,000 less than physicians.

According to Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, dentists are most satisfied with their “freedom of working method” and most dissatisfied with their “income”. The survey identified five items that were significantly associated with extrinsic job satisfaction.

  • Age of practitioner
  • Mean weekly working time
  • Length of time in the practice
  • Number of dental assistants
  • Working atmosphere

In terms of intrinsic job satisfaction, dentists cited the opportunity to use their abilities as their leading indicator of overall job satisfaction.

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