HCN News & Notes

Survey: Despite Challenging Landscape, Physicians Satisfied with Careers

CHICAGO — The American Medical Assoc. (AMA) announced new survey findings that explore the experiences, perceptions, and challenges facing physicians in the rapidly changing healthcare environment. The survey of 1,200 physicians, residents, and medical students asked when respondents knew they would become physicians, who encouraged them down that path, what challenges they face professionally, and whether they are satisfied with their career choice.

According to the survey, nine in 10 physicians are satisfied with their career choice, despite challenges common to each career stage. Three-quarters of medical students, residents, and physicians said helping people is a top motivator for pursuing their career, and 61{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of all respondents said they would encourage others to enter the field of medicine.

Personal experiences as a patient, volunteer, and with family members played a role — across career stages — in realizing one’s calling to practice medicine. Additionally, 73{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of respondents knew before they reached age 20 that they wanted to be physicians, and nearly one-third knew before becoming a teenager.

“Physicians may be discouraged at times, but almost every single one of us remains confident in our decision to enter medicine and continues to be driven by our desire to help our patients,” said Dr. Andrew Gurman, AMA president. “As an organization, the AMA is constantly striving to deliver resources that empower physicians to maximize time with their patients and help them succeed at every stage of their medical lives. Understanding the challenges physicians face, as well as their motivations for continuing on, is critical to fulfilling that mission.”

Conducted in February 2017, the AMA survey found administrative burden, stress, and lack of time were the top three challenges of respondents; however, among residents, a larger proportion indicated long hours and on-call schedule among their top challenges.

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