51 STATISTICS ON SATISFIED AND DISSATISFIED PHYSICIANS

By Sheri Sorrell and Keith Jennings, June 25, 2014

Participants in this year’s national survey by Jackson Healthcare were notably more satisfied than in 2013. Seventy-two percent of respondents reported being either satisfied or very satisfied with their career in medicine at this point in time. Only nine percent reported being very dissatisfied.

However, this year’s survey participants were also younger. There has been a clear correlation between age and satisfaction in our surveys since we began studying physician practice trends in 2012.

In this piece, we highlight 51 statistically significant data points that emerged from comparing the attitudes and outlook of satisfied versus dissatisfied physicians.

In a future piece, we will share data on satisfied and dissatisfied physicians by specialty.

 

Satisfied Physicians are more likely to:

1. Say there has been no change in the amount of time they spend with each patient since last year (76 percent of those who are satisfied vs. 64 percent of those who are dissatisfied)

2. Encourage a young person to enter the field of medicine as a physician (70 percent vs. 19 percent)

3. Say there has been no change to the number of surgical procedures they schedule per day this year than last (69 percent vs. 45 percent)

4. Say that it is a positive trend that nurse practitioners and physician assistants are taking on more duties historically performed by physicians (68 percent vs. 40 percent)

5. Say that as the ACA rolls out, they have had no shifts in their patient panel as a result of healthcare reform (56 percent vs. 50 percent)

6. Say there has been no change in the number of patients they see during an office day since last year (53 percent vs. 41 percent)

7. Say the outlook for a career as a physician in 2014 is generally favorable (35 percent vs. 4 percent) or cautionary (52 percent vs. 40 percent)

8. Be employed and have never worked in private practice (49 percent vs. 37 percent)

9. Have a greater percentage of patients with private insurance in their practice make-up (46 percent vs. 42 percent)

10. Say patients are more knowledgeable about their health, conditions, etc. this year than they were last year (41 percent vs. 31 percent)

11. Say they have partnerships in place with insurers, hospitals, and local companies to provide care to their patients and the community (39 percent vs. 28 percent)

12. Be leaving medicine in 2014 because they are 65 years of age or older (39 percent vs. 19 percent)

13. Say their practice is more focused on preventative care and population health this year vs. last year (32 percent vs. 21 percent)

14. Say they’d rather work with nurse practitioners than physician assistants (32 percent vs. 26 percent)

15. Have chosen hospital employment for lifestyle reasons – they did not want to work the long hours that private practitioners must (27 percent vs. 12 percent)

16. Be foreign medical graduates (22 percent vs. 15 percent)

17. Say that as the ACA rolls out, they have added patients who have obtained insurance through the healthcare exchange (21 percent vs. 14 percent)

18. Be between the ages of 25 and 44 (21 percent vs. 15 percent) or 65+ (19 percent vs. 12 percent)

19. Work eight hours a day (20 percent vs. 13 percent)

20. Say their income has increased (15 percent vs. 5 percent) or not changed (49 percent vs. 27 percent) since last year

21. Be pediatricians (14 percent vs. 7 percent)

 

Dissatisfied physicians are more likely to:

22. Not accept new Medicaid patients because of low / declining reimbursements – cannot afford to do so (88 percent of those who are dissatisfied vs. 79 percent of those who are satisfied)

23. Not to encourage a young person to enter the field of medicine as a physician (81 percent vs. 30 percent)

24. Work more than 8 hours per day (75 percent vs. 68 percent)

25. To be between the ages of 45 and 64 (73 percent vs. 61 percent)

26. Say that nurse practitioners and physician assistants performing more duties that used to be performed by physicians is a negative trend (60 percent vs. 32 percent)

27. Say that patients are delaying services, procedures, electives, etc. (71 percent vs. 61 percent)

28. Say their income has decreased since last year (68 percent vs. 36 percent)

29. Say billing and collections from insurance companies in 2014 vs. 2013 was more difficult (59 percent vs. 44 percent)

30. Say billing and collections from patients in 2014 vs. 2013 was more difficult (58 percent vs. 43 percent)

31. Say there are no plans for their practice to join an ACO in 2014 (58 percent vs. 51 percent)

32. Say the outlook for a career as a physician in 2014 is generally negative (56 percent vs. 13 percent)

33. Not accept new Medicaid patients because of a high no-show rate (51 percent vs. 36 percent)

34. Not accept new Medicaid patients because of refusals to pay / denials (50 percent vs. 38 percent)

35. Say billing and collections from Medicare in 2014 vs. 2013 was more difficult (51 percent vs. 36 percent)

36. Say billing and collections from Medicaid in 2014 vs. 2013 was more difficult (48 percent vs. 35 percent)

37. Discontinue accepting new Medicaid patients because of increased litigation risk (44 percent vs. 6 percent)

38. To say they schedule less surgical procedures on a surgery day this year than last (40 percent vs. 19 percent)

39. Not accept new Medicare patients because these are sicker patients whose treatment is too time intensive (39 percent vs. 16 percent)

40. To practice in the Southeast (35 percent vs. 30 percent)

41. Say the number of patients they see during an office day has decreased since last year (33 percent vs. 21 percent)

42. Have a higher percentage of Medicare patients in their practice make-up (32 percent vs. 29 percent)

43. Say they have lost patients as the ACA has been implemented because those patients have lost their insurance or have had their insurance canceled because it did not comply (32 percent vs. 19 percent)

44. See patients in the Emergency Department (31 percent vs. 26 percent)

45. Not work with either nurse practitioners or physician assistants (28 percent vs. 21 percent)

46. Say the amount of time they spend with each patient has decreased since last year (28 percent vs. 16 percent)

47. Own a solo practices (26 percent vs. 20 percent)

48. Have chosen hospital employment because they did not have the money to invest in a practice (26 percent vs. 14 percent)

49. Strongly consider retiring or leaving the practice of medicine in 2014 (20 percent vs. 4 percent)

50. Be independent contractors or LT physicians (12 percent vs. 8 percent)

51. To be in hospital-based specialties (Emergency Med, Critical Care, Hospitalist) (8 percent vs. 5 percent)

 

Final Thoughts

It is obvious dissatisfied physicians see the glass half empty, while satisfied physicians see it as half full. And, in our research, there continues to be a correlation between satisfaction and employment vs. private practice.

The growing number of employed and female physicians in the workforce is changing physicians’ political alignment, as well. According to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, physicians are more likely to contribute to Democrats’ political campaigns and favor Democratic candidates than they were twenty years ago.

Not only are we in the midst of the most significant regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since 1965, we’re seeing the physician workforce transform itself.

You May Also Enjoy Reading:

51 Statistics On How Income Impacts Physicians in 2014


Survey Methodology

A total of 1,527 physicians completed this survey, which was conducted between April 18 and June 5, 2014. The error range for this survey was +/- 2.5 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

Invitations for Jackson Healthcare’s surveys are emailed to subsets of a database, which include physicians who have been placed by Jackson Healthcare’s staffing companies and those who have not.

Respondents to all surveys were self-selected and spanned all 50 states and medical/surgical specialties.

 

About the Authors

Sheri Sorrell leads Jackson Healthcare’s market research efforts. Keith Jennings is the company’s marketing and content strategy director.

Click here to email the authors your questions, feedback and requests.