Does Micropractice Lead to Macrosatisfaction?

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Abstract

Background

Physician quality of work life is a key factor in career choice, satisfaction, and retention. The majority of physicians are currently employed by large health care organizations where physician loss of autonomy is common, yet some physicians have opened micropractices. There have been no previous studies comparing physician satisfaction between employed physicians and micropractice physicians.

Methods

A previously validated survey of physician satisfaction was sent to 72 physicians practicing in a residency setting, 111 physicians in community, nonresidency setting, and 42 physicians in a micropractice setting.

Results

Physicians in micropractices had the lowest satisfaction with income, but the highest satisfaction with family time and the ability to provide continuity of care. Micropractice physicians rated the overall quality of medical care they provide higher than employed physicians. Micropractice physicians reported a much smaller scope of practice.

Conclusions

Overall, physicians in micropractices found more satisfaction in their work at the cost of decreased income and a narrower scope of practice.

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