What do physicians want in their ideal job?

Eric S. Williams, Mark Linzer, Donald E. Pathman, Julia E. McMurray, Thomas R. Konrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article explores the question of what physicians want in their "ideal job" using a nationally representative sample of physicians in ambulatory practice. The importance of ten work values was examined overall by specialty, practice setting, race/ethnicity, age, and gender. More than 90% of physicians rated the following as very important: good relationships with staff and colleagues; control of time off; adequate material resources; and autonomy in decision making. Remarkably, the relative importance of these work values remained consistent across each grouping. As more physicians practice in organized settings, there is a greater potential for a clash of work values to occur between physicians and their practice organizations. The consequences for physicians include lower job satisfaction and a greater likelihood of quitting. Practice organizations suffer through lower patient satisfaction and increased recruiting costs. Based on our findings, we offer five recommendations to maximize the well-being of physicians in ambulatory care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of medical practice management : MPM
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003


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