Physicians Prioritize A Lot More Than Their Salaries

Physicians often get pigeonholed for primarily caring about their salary when searching for a job they love. However, according to several polls over the past 14 years, that is just not accurate. They prioritize a lot of other day-to-day aspects of their job including a great work environment, access to great resources, and spending time with their patients. Of course, just like any other job, their salaries are still a factor especially when you consider the average student loan of most doctors is at $166,750. However, the reality is our physicians have a lot more on their mind than just paying back that student debt.

Here is what they care about the most:

1. Limited time dealing with insurance, note-taking, coding visits into the system, etc.

In an interview on Business News Daily, Dr. Edna Ma, an anesthesiologist in LA, said, "One of the frustrating aspects is declining or refusal of reimbursements from insurance providers. It puts me, as a physician, in an awkward position if I have to ask for payment before sedating a patient. Can you imagine if your doctor said to you, on the day of your colonoscopy, "I know you've spent the last two days clearing out your bowels — all night sitting on the toilet — but before I sedate [you], I will need to collect $200." That's a terrible situation for [both the] patient and the anesthesia provider.”

All throughout the Business News Daily interview with a select group of freelancers, we see a common thread - dealing with insurance and coding visits is physicians least favorite part of their healthcare jobs. However, it is often where most of their time is spent.

2. Spending time with patients and helping them succeed

On the flip side, instead of working with insurance battles, taking notes and coding visits, physicians want to spend time with their patients. They are devoted to helping them succeed and grow in their lives.

Dr. Jason James, obstetrician/gynecologist and medical director, said, "I hate [that I'm] sometimes spending more time writing notes, coding visits and documenting informed consent and warding off liability than I do talking to my patients. I hate chart audits and insurance negotiations and waiting on hold to get medical authorization for a procedure I clearly think a patient needs. I hate worrying about rare complications or diagnoses and practicing defensive medicine instead of taking care of patients the way I would want to be cared for.”

Doctors didn’t go to medical school to fill out forms and write notes, they went to practice medicine. A high priority for them is getting to do just that in their jobs every day, however, that is often a luxury in their industry.

3. A supportive & positive working environment

Doctors, just like most professionals, desire to go to work in a fun working environment. They want access to material resources, a team that will help when they have questions or needs. Often, physicians will take extra time to interview the hospitals they are applying at to see if the staff are happy and want to remain working there — hoping to find a place where overall work-life balance is valued and where teams work closely together to create a positive working environment.

4. Annual compensation & Benefits

According to Get A Med Job, annual compensation & benefits was ranked as the fourth top consideration (only 13 percent) of physicians while searching for healthcare jobs. They found that physicians were more likely to be swayed by the proximity of the job to family, friends and loved ones (26 percent), the location of the organization (24.6 percent), and compensation relative to the cost of living (16.7%). Salary was a priority, but most physicians were content with an average wage if these other three things were addressed. They also found that physicians were more likely to be swayed by fewer call hours (35.4 percent), more vacation (29.3 percent), and a cash signing bonus (15.4 percent).

5. Flexible schedules

A huge trend has recently emerged amongst millennial professionals in that a flexible schedule is a top priority. Physicians place a high importance on having time with their families, having time for extracurricular activities, and plenty of time to dedicate to self-care.

All the way back in 2003, an article published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health concluded that Physicians prioritize good relationships with staff and colleagues; control of time off’ adequate material resources and autonomy in decision making as the most important. We are so thankful for the dedication of our physicians to their patients and their craft.

What else do physicians prioritize in their healthcare jobs? Share this post and let us know!

Alyssa McNally