In the Journals

Job satisfaction in academic medicine tied to feeling valued, respected

Photo of Arabella L. Simpkin
Arabella L Simpkin

Job satisfaction among academic medicine faculty was significantly associated with a supportive work environment and feeling valued and respected, according to a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Academic medical centers have a tripartite mission to provide high quality clinical care, to advance knowledge through research, and to train the next generation of healthcare providers,” Arabella L Simpkin, MD, MMSc, associate director of the Center for Educational Innovation and Scholarship and associate program director of education and curriculum for internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Healio Primary Care Today. “Although a faculty job can be incredibly fulfilling, academic faculty often face the dual pressures of decreased support for teaching and increased demands for clinical and research productivity with expectations for innovative learning opportunities to be adopted into practice.”

Researchers conducted an online, confidential, cross-sectional survey of full-time faculty members from the department of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in June 2016. The survey’s primary outcome was to assess individual faculty member’s overall professional satisfaction, with a secondary outcome of individual sense of feeling valued. The researchers examined workplace respect, collegiality, satisfaction and mentoring. Multivariable risk regressions were used to examine survey outcomes with demographic information.

Out of 988 faculty members, 553 (56%) responded to the survey. Those who responded were of similar sex and rank compared to the entire faculty.

Feeling valued (OR = 4.73; 95% CI, 2.35-9.51), feeling treated with respect (OR = 3.45; 95% CI, 2.07-5.75), and working in a social and supportive environment (OR = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.05-3.09) were identified as factors significantly associated with job satisfaction. Researchers found that sex, race/ethnicity, and rank were not significantly associated with individual job satisfaction or feeling valued.

“A challenge of the fast-paced, technology-driven environment that is rapidly growing around us, is the imperative to stay connected personally (and not electronically) and reduce isolation,” Simpkin said. “Studies have shown the beneficial effect of building community through, for example, faculty dinners; these activities result in an enhanced work engagement, enhanced satisfaction and decreased burnout.

“Medical practices and hospital systems should pay close attention to relational connection and boosting sense of community,” she continued. “This is critical for the wellbeing of faculty, and for academic medical centers to thrive in all stated missions — clinical care, research and education.” – by Erin Michael

Disclosures: Simpkin reports no relevant financial disclosures. The study was supported by the Steve and Deborah Gorlin MGH Research Scholar award to Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH.

Photo of Arabella L. Simpkin
Arabella L Simpkin

Job satisfaction among academic medicine faculty was significantly associated with a supportive work environment and feeling valued and respected, according to a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Academic medical centers have a tripartite mission to provide high quality clinical care, to advance knowledge through research, and to train the next generation of healthcare providers,” Arabella L Simpkin, MD, MMSc, associate director of the Center for Educational Innovation and Scholarship and associate program director of education and curriculum for internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Healio Primary Care Today. “Although a faculty job can be incredibly fulfilling, academic faculty often face the dual pressures of decreased support for teaching and increased demands for clinical and research productivity with expectations for innovative learning opportunities to be adopted into practice.”

Researchers conducted an online, confidential, cross-sectional survey of full-time faculty members from the department of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in June 2016. The survey’s primary outcome was to assess individual faculty member’s overall professional satisfaction, with a secondary outcome of individual sense of feeling valued. The researchers examined workplace respect, collegiality, satisfaction and mentoring. Multivariable risk regressions were used to examine survey outcomes with demographic information.

Out of 988 faculty members, 553 (56%) responded to the survey. Those who responded were of similar sex and rank compared to the entire faculty.

Feeling valued (OR = 4.73; 95% CI, 2.35-9.51), feeling treated with respect (OR = 3.45; 95% CI, 2.07-5.75), and working in a social and supportive environment (OR = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.05-3.09) were identified as factors significantly associated with job satisfaction. Researchers found that sex, race/ethnicity, and rank were not significantly associated with individual job satisfaction or feeling valued.

“A challenge of the fast-paced, technology-driven environment that is rapidly growing around us, is the imperative to stay connected personally (and not electronically) and reduce isolation,” Simpkin said. “Studies have shown the beneficial effect of building community through, for example, faculty dinners; these activities result in an enhanced work engagement, enhanced satisfaction and decreased burnout.

“Medical practices and hospital systems should pay close attention to relational connection and boosting sense of community,” she continued. “This is critical for the wellbeing of faculty, and for academic medical centers to thrive in all stated missions — clinical care, research and education.” – by Erin Michael

Disclosures: Simpkin reports no relevant financial disclosures. The study was supported by the Steve and Deborah Gorlin MGH Research Scholar award to Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH.

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