Newswise — Giving doctors the right mix of responsibilities will improve job satisfaction and retention, according to researchers from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. These findings were published in the latest issue of Academic Medicine, a journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Researchers set out to determine if doctors leave academic medicine, because they spend too much time seeing patients. They reviewed data from more than 8,000 doctors nationwide taken during the 2011-12 Faculty Forward Engagement Survey. Researchers found that doctors became dissatisfied with their career when they felt their work was out of balance.

They looked at how much time clinicians spent in teaching, research, patient care and administration as well as how they felt about how much time they spent in each area. If doctors thought they were spending too much time working in any particular area, they were more likely to leave.

“By recognizing that physicians have different interests and priorities, academic hospitals can work with individual faculty members to find the right mix of clinical, teaching and administrative responsibilities,” said Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, co-investigator and interim provost for Loyola’s Health Sciences Division, and dean and chief diversity officer for Stritch. “Communicating with faculty on how they spend their time and how they would like to spend their time may help to reduce the number of people who leave academic medicine.”

Brubaker conducted this study in collaboration with researchers from University of Virginia School of Medicine; Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University; American Academy of Physician Assistants; University of Minnesota Medical School and School of Public Health; and University of Missouri – Columbia School of Medicine.

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Academic Medicine