Why Most Doctors Don’t Recommend Their Profession

What’s causing physicians to quit their jobs?

The unhappiest type of doctor is female, younger than 45, and practices in primary care, according to a survey conducted by Jackson Healthcare. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Here’s a message for the next generation of doctors:

Dear future med school student:

Quit while you’re ahead.


Your doctor

Sound harsh? Unfortunately, it’s not an exaggeration, according to a new survey. Of the 3,456 physicians consulted, 42 percent reported being dissatisfied with their job for a number of reasons, including low salaries, burnout, and decreasing autonomy.

Even more troubling, a majority of the physicians surveyed said they would not recommend the medical profession to the next generation; 36 percent cited a negative outlook on the future of their own careers.

The survey also found that the unhappiest type of doctor is likely to be female, younger than 45, and practicing in primary care, family medicine, emergency medicine, radiology, or hospital medicine. They were also likely to have their own private practice. Working for a hospital, on the other hand, proved to be more satisfying because doctors didn’t have to deal with as many administrative hassles.

More survey findings:

• Physicians prefer to work with physician assistants over nurses.

• On average, physicians spend 20 minutes with each patient.

• The percentage of physicians who said they planned to continue practicing medicine declined to 77 percent, from 2012’s rate of 88 percent.

• Satisfied physicians are more likely to be male, older than 45, and work as anesthesiologists, surgery subspecialists, pediatric subspecialists, or dermatologists.

The full report is available at Jackson Healthcare’s website