Time Pressures Leave Doctors Dissatisfied

Study of career satisfaction among practicing physicians
    • April 11, 2008

From 1995 to 1998, researchers from the Washington-based Society of General Internal Medicine surveyed career satisfaction among practicing physicians. The project team developed a model of job satisfaction by refining an existing model, designed a survey instrument, and carried out a national survey.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program Generalist Provider Research Initiative.

Key Findings

  • Time pressure—that is, the difficulty of spending as much time as judged necessary with patients—emerged as the number one source of physician dissatisfaction.

  • Female physicians were also found generally to experience higher levels of work-related stress than their male colleagues.

  • Physicians in HMO practices were found to experience lower job satisfaction than those in other practice settings.