Money isn’t everything

Physicians are fairly happy with their incomes, but unhappy with the number of hours they have to work, as well as with the ancillary duties involved in practicing medicine, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The national poll of 2,608 doctors, conducted by mail between March 26 and Oct. 11, 2001, also found most doctors to be satisfied with their relationships with patients, and the professional challenges that they face.

What rankles them are the number of work hours spent on patient care, compared to administrative duties; the lack of time for nonprofessional interests; and a perceived lack of autonomy in clinical decisions. They’re also worried about future income.

The overall morale of physicians has decreased in the last five years. Physicians also say that managed care has somewhat negatively affected the way they practice medicine — doctors are more likely now than they were in 1999 to strongly believe this.

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