Physicians participating in Jackson Healthcare's 2014 national survey on physician satisfaction are substantially more satisfied with their careers than they were last year, with 72 percent of the 1,527 physicians surveyed saying they are currently either satisfied or very satisfied with their careers in medicine.
Just 9 percent reported they are very dissatisfied. In comparison, 42 percent of respondents in 2013 said they were dissatisfied with their medical practice, while 17 percent said they were very dissatisfied.
This year, researchers also drilled down into commonalities among happy versus unhappy doctors. "It is obvious dissatisfied physicians see the glass half empty, while satisfied physicians see it as half full," noted authors Sheri Sorrell, head of Jackson Healthcare's market research efforts, and Keith Jennings, the company's marketing and content strategy director. "And, in our research, there continues to be a correlation between satisfaction and employment vs. private practice," they added, referring to the finding that most satisfied physicians are younger (age 25 to 44) and employed, having never experienced private practice.
Additional statistics comparing satisfied with dissatisfied physicians included the following:
Twenty percent of satisfied physicians work eight hours per day compared to dissatisfied physicians (13 percent), according to statistics compiled by Jackson Healthcare. In 2013, most physicians (28 percent) reported working 10 hours per day, while 30 percent worked 11 or more hours per day.
Dissatisfied physicians (60 percent) are more likely than satisfied physicians (32 percent) not to favor nurse practitioners and physician assistants doing more work once performed by physicians.
Among dissatisfied physicians, 88 percent said they cannot afford to accept new Medicaid patients, versus 79 percent of those who are satisfied. However, in 2013, Jackson researchers found that 70 percent of physicians reported accepting new Medicaid patients, up seven points from 2012. Meanwhile, 88 percent of physicians said they accept new Medicare patients, up eight points from 2012.