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Here are the Physicians Most Satisfied with Their Careers in 2016

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Earlier this month, Medscape released its “Physician Compensation Report 2016,”, and according to Carol Peckham over at the publication’s website, the report is based on information collected from “nearly 19,200 physicians in over 26 specialties,” who “disclosed not only their compensation, but also how many hours they work per week, how many minutes they spend with each patient, the most rewarding part of their job, changes to their practice resulting from healthcare reform, and more.”

Now, we turn to the question of: “How do physicians rank by overall career satisfaction?”

“To determine the level of general career satisfaction, Medscape averaged the percentage of physicians who again would choose medicine as a career, those who again would choose their specialty, and those who thought they were fairly compensated,” Peckham reports. “This year, dermatologists, at 65 percent, were the most satisfied, followed by oncologists (59 percent) and psychiatrists (58 percent).”

“Dermatologists have consistently led in career satisfaction over the past five annual compensation reports,” she adds.

According to Gary Goldenberg, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, there’s a major reason for dermatologists’ satisfaction.

“I believe it's because our patients tend to do well with treatment,” he told Medscape. “We are also on the forefront of early detection and skin cancer prevention.”

Pathologists tied with psychiatrists in overall career satisfaction, at 58 percent. Fifty-seven percent of emergency-medicine specialists and gastroenterologists reported overall career satisfaction, while 56 percent of infectious-disease specialists and 55 percent of pediatricians reported the same, followed by 54 percent of rheumatologists, cardiologists, and anesthesiologists.

Nearing the 50-50 split were radiologists, orthopedists, and neurologists at 53 percent; ophthalmologists and family physicians at 52 percent; and pulmonologists, plastic surgeons, and obstetricians/gynecologists at 51 percent.

General surgeons and urologists were split 50-50 on career satisfaction.

“At the bottom were nephrologists (47 percent), internists (48 percent), endocrinologists (49 percent), and allergists (49 percent),” Peckham reports.

This lack of satisfaction had little to do with compensation, however, she continued. “Their satisfaction rankings using these criteria appeared to have little to do with their earnings rank. Dermatologists are third in earnings, but oncologists and psychiatrists fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. And among the three groups least unsatisfied, only endocrinologists were among the lowest three in earnings.”

As physicians who are looking for jobs, how satisfied are you with your career? How has this satisfaction or lack of satisfaction influenced your job search?

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