“Although society’s perception might be that surgeons endure greater mental challenges and stress in their work duties than those providing primary care physician services, new research from a study conducted by experts at the University of Cincinnati shows that this isn’t necessarily the case” as reported in a recent news article, published in a “UC Health News.”
“Similarities and differences in physician work intensity among specialties are poorly understood but have implications for quality of patient care, patient safety, practice organization, management and payment,” says Ronnie Horner, PhD, chair of the UC College of Medicine’s public health sciences department and lead investigator on the study.
“A physician’s work can be assessed by the time required to complete it and by the intensity of the effort, which is central to properly valuing the services being provided.
“Current payment for medical services by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is largely determined by the relative value of the intensity associated with the service which may also affect the quality and efficiency of the care provided,” said Homer.
The study found the following:
•A great deal of surgeons’ work effort comes from mental concentration on the task at hand, as well as the physical demands of performing surgery.
•Family physicians reported the highest demands on their time compared to other specialties, while surgeons reported the lowest intensity for time demand.
•General internists reported work intensity similar to surgeons but significantly lower than family physicians and neurologists.