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Study addresses physician
job satisfaction

Being able to provide high quality care is a primary driver of professional satisfaction among physicians, while obstacles to such care are a key source of stress, according to a study released last month by the RAND Corp. Researchers based their findings on information from physician practices in six states, including Wisconsin.

The study, sponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA), “sought to identify high-priority determinants of professional satisfaction that can be targeted within a variety of practice types, especially as smaller and independent practices are purchased by or become affiliated with hospitals and larger delivery systems,” the abstract said. It is part of the AMA’s efforts to identify effective delivery and payment models that result in good health outcomes for patients and greater professional satisfaction for physicians.

Among the key findings was the impact of electronic health records, which were a source of both promise and frustration, on job satisfaction. In addition, the study found that recent health reforms have not had a prominent effect—either positive or negative—on professional satisfaction. A RAND Corp. news release also identified the following findings:

  • Excessive productivity quotas and limitations on the time spent with each patient were major sources of physician dissatisfaction. The cumulative pressures associated with workload were described as a “treadmill” and as being “relentless,” sentiments especially common among primary care physicians.
  • Physicians described the cumulative burden of rules and regulations as being overwhelming and draining time and resources away from patient care.
  • Perceptions of collegiality, fairness and respect were key factors affecting whether physicians were satisfied. Within the practices studied, frequent meetings with other doctors and other health professionals fostered greater collegiality and satisfaction.

More information is available on the AMA website and in this blog post by AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD.

Back to November 14, 2013 Medigram