Published in the January 2013 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
DO HOSPITALISTS FEEL RESPECTED? In the 2012 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey, we asked four questions designed to gauge how hospitalists feel about their professional standing. Here’s a look at the areas where hospitalists feel good about the respect they receive, and those areas where they could probably use a little help.
When it comes to respect, hospitalists reported relatively high marks. Almost 90% of full-time hospitalists say they are respected by peers in their group, while just under 70% say they are respected by nonhospitalists in their facilities. And nearly 75% of hospitalists say they strongly agree that their opinions count in decisions made by their hospitalist group.
The discouraging news, however, was the finding that only 55% of hospitalists think that their group’s input counts in decisions made by hospital administrators.
Perceptions of respect show some interesting differences by specialty. Pediatric hospitalists, for example, seem to feel a little more respected than their adult counterparts. About 5% more pediatric hospitalists said their opinion counted in their group (79% vs. 74%), and 4% more pediatric hospitalists said they’re respected by nonhospitalist peers (73% vs. 69%).
But on the question of whether hospital administrators include input from their group, pediatric hospitalists fare slightly worse than their adult counterparts. Almost one-third of pediatric hospitalists (32%) disagreed that administrators listened to input from their group, compared with only 23% of adult hospitalists.
When the data are sorted by gender, some interesting differences emerge. While 78% of male hospitalists say their opinion counts in decisions made by their group, that number drops to 67% for female hospitalists. And slightly more men (70.6%) say they are respected by nonhospitalist peers than women (66.9%).
While female pediatric hospitalists generally report perceiving less respect than men, they fare better than adult hospitalists who are women. While 76% of female pediatric hospitalists say their opinion counts in decisions made by their group, for example, that’s true for only 64% of female adult hospitalists.
And female pediatric hospitalists actually report receiving more respect from nonhospitalist peers than even their male colleagues. More than three-quarters (78%) of female pediatric hospitalists say they’re respected by their nonhospitalist colleagues, compared to 68% of male pediatric hospitalists.
Where hospitalists practice seems to affect the level of respect they feel they receive. Hospitalists at universities and medical schools, for example, report feeling less respected than their colleagues in other settings. While 90% of all hospitalists say they’re respected by the peers in their group, only 84% of hospitalists working at universities and medical schools feel the same way.
Hospitalists working in multispecialty and primary care groups also report getting less respect than their colleagues. Only 83% of those hospitalists say they’ve got the respect of the peers in their group, and they report less respect in the other categories as well.
Experience and patient volume
Perhaps not surprisingly, more experienced hospitalists say they get more respect all the way around. While 65% of physicians who have been hospitalists for two years or less say their opinion is counted in decisions made by their group, that number jumps to 84% for hospitalists with 11-plus years of experience. Similarly, more experienced hospitalists are more likely to report getting respect from their peers both inside and outside of the hospitalist group.
Our data lead to another conclusion that might not seem like much of a surprise: Hospitalists who see high volumes of patients perceive less respect than their colleagues seeing fewer patients. The more patients hospitalists see per shift, the less respect they feel from their group, hospital administrators, and peers in and out of their group.
Finally, the more hospitalists are paid, the more respect they report. While 79% of hospitalists making between $100,000 and $149,000 say they are respected by their group peers, that number jumps to 96% for hospitalists earning $300,000 or more. On all four survey questions we asked, making more money seemed to correlate with feeling more respect.