"You have to educate the people on what the career is today, not what it was 30 years ago, and emphasize the positive things about being a doctor today which are still very much what they were before," he says. "If you are going into the business because you want to take care of people and make a difference it is still a great business. If you are going into it because you want to make a good living it's still a great business. Will you make as big a percentage difference over the norm than maybe you did 30 years ago? Maybe not. Maybe the gap is closer. But physicians still make a very nice living."
McEachern acknowledges that disgruntled physicians could be more inclined to answer questions about happiness and job satisfaction and that their responses could be a way of venting the frustration and uncertainty that comes with healthcare reform and other fundamental shifts in care delivery, employment, and reimbursement models.
"That is the blowing off steam part. That is our theory. There seems like a lot of frustration tied to that uncertainty," he says. "What we have found is that autonomy and satisfaction seem very closely linked. What does that mean? We really don't know the answer yet. We are still waiting to get a few years down the road to see. As more and more doctors choose employment they are still going to relinquish some autonomy. Are we going to see an increase in satisfaction and employed physicians over the years or is it going to flame out just like it has with private practice doctors?"