Gauging Current Physician Sentiment

While the majority of physicians would chose to be a physician again if they could go back in time, younger physicians are much more likely to regret their profession choice.

While we know that physicians are unsettled by the changes going through the industry and fed up with the issues that have long plagued the system, a new survey revealed that the majority are still happy with their choice of profession and feel hopeful about the future of medicine.

The Physicians Practice 2013 Great American Physician Survey gauged the mood of nearly 1,200 doctors and nearly three-quarters would still become a physician if they could go back in time. However, 22% would not choose a career in health care.

Younger physicians are more likely to regret their decision to go into health care, possibly because of the staggering student loans they carry. Overall, though, physicians rate their happiness an 8 on a scale from 1 to 10. Just 14% of respondents plan to walk away from medicine and retire in the next five years and 40% plan to practice just as they do now.

Similar to Congress and the general American public, the health care reform law has split physicians down the middle.

Just under half (45%) of physician respondents said they think the reelection of President Obama “bodes poorly for the future of health care,” and 35% support the Affordable Care Act, but would make a few tweaks.

Physicians Practice, The Great American Physician Survey

The survey also found that physicians are looking to get out of traditional fee-for-service (see above). Almost a third (31%) is considering or has considered switching to s concierge-style practice.

While physicians love providing great care for patients and 77% went into medicine because it is clinically stimulating, 37% say a lack of adequate insurance covered is the biggest barrier to good health care for their patients.

Mostly, though, physicians just don’t have enough time.

One-fifth wants more time to educate their patients while 68% said they don’t have as much time for their personal lives as they should. However, while two-thirds say they eat dinner with their families three or more nights per week, more than a third would be willing to sacrifice money to work fewer hours per week.