Mythbusting the Modern Physician: 4 Survey Findings that Reveal Outdated Stereotypes

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  • Feb 04, 2016

Though we often say value-based care, increased pressure on compensation and a new regulatory environment will force physicians to adapt, we don’t always give them credit for changing.

In fact, many long-standing stereotypes about physicians — especially in regards to their attitudes toward physician preference items, financial relationships and practice priorities — are simply not true, according to a survey from Procured Health.

Procured Health surveyed more than 100 electrophysiologists and orthopedic surgeons. The sample included employed and independent physicians, and physicians from an array of working environments, from teaching hospitals to community hospitals.

Here are the top survey findings — some of which may be surprising.

1. Physicians do not find vendors trustworthy. Though they may seem attached to certain vendors — physicians ranked their satisfaction with device representatives equal to that of department chairs — many say this is because vendors have been the primary source of information on product and procedure innovations. Despite this, physicians generally mistrust device reps, and said in the survey they value peer-reviewed literature and patient complaints more than vendors when making product decisions.

2. Physicians are more flexible than they are given credit for, according to the survey. Many administrators feel the need to surrender to every request from physicians for devices, or they will simply leave. However, the survey found only 6.9 percent of respondents had ever left a hospital due to medical device restrictions. According to Procured Health, given the 13-year average tenure of the physicians surveyed, this percentage is minimal.

3. Employment is not an automatic path to engagement and collaboration. According to Procured Health, many healthcare administrators may feel changing financial relationships with physicians is enough to incentivize collaboration. The survey shows financial rewards are important, but they are not the top driver of satisfaction.

4. A well-run hospital is physicians’ No. 1 priority. According to the survey, nine in 10 physicians feel efficient operations are very or extremely important. This ranked above clinical autonomy, work/life balance, hospital reputation and unrestricted access to devices.