Published in the January 2012 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
HOW MUCH AUTONOMY do hospitalists have in their day-to-day jobs? According to results of the 2011 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey, most hospitalists say there’s room for improvement. While more than 80% of hospitalists said that they have enough autonomy in clinical decision-making, less than one-third felt they had a significant voice when it came to how their group is managed. That reported sense of autonomy plummets even further when it comes to how their hospital is managed.
An impressive 81% of hospitalists said they had enough autonomy in patient care and clinical decision-making. But that number goes up or down depending on how long physicians have been in their current job. Of hospitalists who have worked in their current job for two years or less, for example, 78% said they had enough autonomy in terms of clinical decision-making. Among hospitalists in their current job for 11 years or more, on the other hand, 88% reported having enough autonomy in that area.
Autonomy in group management
When it comes to autonomy in how hospitalists’ groups are managed, however, only 33% said they have enough of a say, while 43% said they had some autonomy but would like more. Almost one-quarter (24%) said they don’t have enough autonomy. These numbers again line up with the amount of time hospitalists have been in their current job. Of hospitalists who have been in their current job two years or less, for example, only 24% said they have enough autonomy in group management. That number peaked at 48% for hospitalists who have been in their jobs between six and 10 years.
Autonomy in hospital management
Less than 20% of respondents said they had enough autonomy in how their hospitals are managed, and 41% said they don’t have enough. These numbers are pretty low across all categories, which seems to indicate that despite their growing role, most hospitalists still don’t believe they have much input into decisions made at the highest administrative levels.