Survey Measures Physician Satisfaction
A majority of primary care physicians say they are satisfied with their careers, although many express disappointment with their compensation, according to a study released Thursday by Merritt Hawkins and the magazine Physicians Practice, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports. The survey, which was given to family practitioners, internists and pediatricians, finds that:
- 68% of primary care physicians say they are either "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with their careers, while the remaining 32% say they are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with their profession;
- 53% say they are disappointed with their salaries, which average $150,000 annually, while 10.5% say their compensation is "excellent";
- When asked how they would approach their career if they could begin again, more than one-third of respondents say they would specialize in surgery or diagnostics instead of in primary care, 28.6% say they would choose another field altogether and 37.6% say they would choose primary care again;
- In addition to income, primary care physicians express concerns about overhead costs, with 60% saying they spend between 40% and 70% of their revenue on overhead costs, more than one-quarter saying overhead costs consumed at least 61% of revenue and 1.4% saying operating costs exceeded revenue.
- 23% say they doubt they will be able to sustain overhead costs within five years, while 7% say they definitely will not be able to do so and one-quarter say they will be able to (Agovino, AP/Houston Chronicle, 7/13).