Doctors voice job unhappiness


Doctors voice unhappiness with current employmentPhoto used with permission from Shutterstock.com

A survey of more than 3,400 doctors conducted by Jackson Healthcare found that 42 percent of practicing physicians are dissatisfied in their job. Some are thinking about leaving medicine altogether, while others are considering early retirement, according to the survey report released June 11.

Physicians cited decreasing autonomy (46 percent), low reimbursement (35 percent) and administrative hassles (23 percent) as the key drivers of their dissatisfaction. Female physicians, as well as those younger than 45 years of age, reported higher levels of dissatisfaction, the report stated.

Fifty-three percent of physicians younger than 45 years of age who have never worked in private practice said they were dissatisfied with their careers compared with only 32 percent of physicians younger than 45 currently working in private practice.

“Physicians are working harder and longer hours for less reimbursement,” said Richard L. Jackson, chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare, in a prepared statement. “Plus, they feel like insurers, government and hospitals dictate how they can treat patients.”

When asked to gauge the outlook of their medical career in 2013, nearly half (48 percent) said they were cautionary, while 36 percent expressed a generally negative outlook.

Respondents reporting hospital employment increased six points between 2012 and 2013 from 20 to 26 percent. The top three reasons respondent physicians left private practice for employment included costly overhead (45 percent), practicing medicine without administrative hassles (34 percent) and reimbursement cuts (32 percent).

“If we continue to devalue the experience and skills of our physicians, they will become the most expensive data-entry clerks in the nation,” said Jackson.

Dissatisfied physicians were more likely to work 12 or more hours per day, be in a medical practice at its patient capacity and not utilizing advanced practitioner support.

Respondents were self-selected with 3,456 physicians completing the survey between March 7 and April 1, 2013. The error range for this survey at the 95th percent confidence level is +/- 1.7 percent, according to the report.

Click here to access the full report.

Photo used with permission from Shutterstock.com.