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Independent Practice Boosts Physician Job Satisfaction

Employment satisfaction higher in independent practice than in large health care organizations

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians working in independent practices are happier with their jobs than those working for large health care organizations, according to a report published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

John W. Beasley, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and colleagues surveyed 584 family physicians in Wisconsin in 2000 who were either working independently or employed by a health care organization.

The researchers found that the independent physicians put in longer hours, worked in smaller groups and had been practicing longer than those employed by health care organizations.

However, the independent physicians also reported better work relationships, greater family satisfaction, more sway over management decisions and had more job satisfaction. They also reported a better perception of the quality of care they delivered, a greater ability to achieve their professional goals and they were less likely to have plans to leave the practice, the investigators found.

"Independent physicians have significantly more positive ratings of several aspects of the quality of their work life compared with physicians employed by health care organizations," the authors conclude. "Health care organizations need to address these issues if they are to have a satisfied and stable workforce."

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