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A recent medical survey found that many of today's doctors admit that the medical profession is not a bed of roses. After starting out with the best intentions and enduring years of schooling and internships, life as a working doctor turns out to be more complicated than some anticipated.
Extended working hours are almost a certainty, and the job can wear the doctor down over time, especially the non-clinical aspects. Still, doctors can take some proactive steps to protect their health, improve morale, and make the most of their chosen profession.
The current state of physician job satisfaction state has several key takeaways:
So why are so many doctors dissatisfied with their jobs? The answer appears to be multifaceted, led by inefficient electronic health record (EHR) systems, industry demands, and clinical policies beyond their control.
According to the survey, when doctors were asked to identify the two factors that made them least satisfied with their medical practice, they identified the following in order:
1. EHR design - 39.2%
2. Insurance requirements - 37.6%
3. Loss of clinical autonomy - 37.0%
4. Professional misconduct - 30.2%
5. Time spent with patients - 12.4%
6. Income/compensation - 12.1%
Of course, doctors would change these aspects of their work if they could, but some things are beyond their control. In fact, 63% of respondents said that doctors have little chance of significantly influencing the health care system.
So, what does an individual doctor do? All he can do is one doctor and one patient at a time.
A number of physicians plan to make changes in their own careers within the next three years, including 8% who intend to work in locum tenens. These temporary jobs can bring welcome flexibility and a new perspective to a medical career with part-time or full-time work. Other physicians plan to retire from medical practice (17%), reduce their working hours (22%), or change to another type of work situation.
Researchers in the survey also asked about the most satisfying aspects of practicing medicine, and patient relationships were the clear winner, cited by more than 3 in 4 respondents. Here are the full results of what doctors say they enjoy most about their jobs:
1. Patient/Doctor relationships - 78.7%
2. Intellectual stimulation - 55.1%
3. Social and community impact- 21.0%
4. Income- 18.9%
5. Professional relations with colleagues - 14.3%
6. Professional stature of medicine - 9.8%
It ends up that the least satisfying and most satisfying aspects of a physician's job are closely related: two-thirds of physicians (66%) say that electronic health records (EHRs)—the main culprit for hurting their job satisfaction—have reduced or worsened their interactions with patients, which is what he values most.
Do you want to return to the heart of medicine? Working with your current employer or practice partners to hire additional support, upgrade systems, and/or streamline non-clinical requirements can help improve overall morale. Otherwise, choosing a physician occupation that offers more time with patients and fewer administrative burdens, such as locum tenens assignments, may be a solution to increasing your own level of job satisfaction. At DirectShifts, we help doctors find exciting opportunities that allow for a better work-life balance. Explore now! We are a job marketplace built for healthcare professionals by healthcare professionals. Using an AI-based platform, DirectShifts provides clinicians with a quick and efficient recruitment process with transparent job descriptions, including the type of shifts, accommodations, pay, and location, as well as lucrative perks and benefits. You will be able to clearly see all the crucial details—compensation, plan, institutional features, and so on—all in one place. Everything to make the best decision for you!
We adore our clinicians and are honored to be a part of their journey, and our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are always there to help you. Although automation and technology are our main tools, we do not forget that clinicians are human, and that is what makes us special.