What Factors Relate to Job Satisfaction Among Rheumatologists?

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Abstract

Background:

A severe shortage of practicing rheumatologists in the workforce is predicted over the next 2 decades. Identification of factors impacting job satisfaction will be needed to design interventional strategies for physician retention.

Objective:

To examine predictors of job satisfaction among rheumatologists.

Methods:

A cross-sectional survey was conducted among rheumatologists from the American College of Rheumatology directory with a portion of this designed to examine their job satisfaction. Questions regarding demographics, practice setting and job satisfaction, emotional exhaustion, and personal accomplishment based from the Maslach Burnout Inventory were included. Also included was a rank item to prioritize perceived changes that would improve job satisfaction. The response rate was 30% (N = 285) and 236 were analyzed. Data were primarily analyzed by the independent samples χ2 test.

Results:

Physician demographics: mean age: 51 years, 76% were male, 27% were full time academicians, and 24% in solo practice. Significant differences (P < 0.04) between the “high” satisfaction versus “very good” and “low” satisfaction groups includes increased age and solo practice, which were associated with “high” satisfaction. Lower job satisfaction rating correlated with items rating emotional exhaustion (rs = −0.43) and better satisfaction with personal accomplishment (rs = 0.41, P < 0.001 for both). Priority ranking revealed that “better reimbursement for patient care” and “less administrative/business effort” were the most frequently reported items cited to improve job satisfaction.

Conclusions:

Measures to improve job satisfaction may promote physician retention as a means of addressing the predicted workforce shortage.

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