We examined present and anticipated future levels of career satisfaction among psychiatrists in the greater Houston area. We gathered data by means of an anonymous questionnaire. The strongest univariate correlations between background variables and current and anticipated future levels of career satisfaction were found with age, years in practice, and source of professional income. Major threats to the quality of psychiatric practice were identified as changes in third-party reimbursement/managed care, competition from nonphysician mental health practitioners, and the national economy. Psychiatrists least satisfied with their current careers and most pessimistic about the future were found to be older with more years’ experience and deriving their professional income chiefly from private practice. Much of their dissatisfaction appeared to relate to changes in third-party reimbursement/managed care and increasing competition from nonphysician mental health professionals.
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