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Older Adults and Kids Make Doctors Happy

Eddy Joelson, M.D., sees about 25 patients a day in his Sacramento, Calif., geriatrics practice, advising them on everything from diet to social activities.

“I like geriatrics because I like learning about people’s lives and what they’ve been through, their life experiences,” says Joelson, 35.

A recent study by the University of California at Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research shows that Joelson and others who practice geriatrics are indeed satisfied with their jobs. In the survey of more than 6,500 doctors, those who worked with older patients and children had a high satisfaction level.

J. Paul Leigh, the study’s lead author, says that physician satisfaction is strongly linked to patient satisfaction and desirable patient outcomes.

Among the most dissatisfied physicians? Gynecologists and surgeons. Physicians working more than 50 hours per week also had lower levels of satisfaction.

Angela Bryant Starke is a writer based in Knoxville, Tenn.


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