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Here’s What Physicians Say is the Most Rewarding Aspect of Their Jobs

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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.”

Today, we look at two questions from the survey: “Do you discuss the cost of treatment with patients?” and “What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?”

According to the article, discussing treatment costs with patients is a crucial issue in modern medicine especially after the New England Journal of Medicine opined in 2013: “Because treatments can be ‘financially toxic,’ physicians need to disclose the financial consequences of treatment alternatives just as they inform patients about treatments’ side effects.”

The survey found that 30 percent of physicians regularly discuss the cost of treatment with patients, while 35 percent said they did “occasionally, in certain circumstances.” Twenty percent said “occasionally, if the patient brings up the subject.”

Peckham observes that this combined percentage of 85 percent “is about the same (84 percent) as in the 2012 compensation survey.”

Ten percent said they never discuss the cost of treatment with patients, “because I don’t know the cost of the treatments.” Five percent said they never discuss the cost “because I don’t feel that it is appropriate.”

When asked, “What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?,” 34 percent of physicians listed the gratitude their patients express to them, along with the relationships that are subsequently formed with those patients. Thirty-two percent said “being very good at what I do/finding answers, diagnoses” is most rewarding, while 12 percent said “knowing that I’m making the world a better place.”

Eleven percent of physicians surveyed said “making good money at a job that I like” is most rewarding, 6 percent said “being proud of being a doctor,” and 2 percent of the doctors surveyed listed “nothing” as being the most rewarding aspect of their jobs.

As physicians who are looking for a job, how do you view discussing treatment costs with your patients? Is this something you’re comfortable with doing? And what do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a physician?

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