Is Medicine Your Doc's Calling?
Physicians who have a strong sense that a career in medicine is their true calling turn out to get a lot more satisfaction out of dealing with issues such as smoking cessation, obesity, and alcoholism than do doctors who don't really like their work. A study led by Kenneth Rasinski, PhD, of the University of Chicagoand published in the Archives of Internal Medicine noted that "Nicotine dependence, obesity, and alcoholism respond to treatment by primary care physicians, but research suggests established treatment protocols are rarely used . . . It may be that physicians shy away from addressing these multifaceted, often obdurate conditions because they find that treating them is unsatisfying."
The researchers hypothesized that physician satisfaction would be lower for those who are dissatisfied with their careers in general and also for those who "believe patients are responsible for these conditions." Their results proved them right. Career satisfaction was measured as agreement or disagreement with the statement, “If I had it to do over again, I would not choose medicine as a career.” Physicians were also asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement, “For me, the practice of medicine is a calling.”