Health Economics, Policy and Law


Information-oriented patients and physician career satisfaction: is there a link?

Hai Fanga1 c1 and John A. Rizzoa2

a1 Assistant Professor, Department of Health Systems, Management, and Policy, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Denver, USA

a2 Professor, Department of Economics and Department of Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University, NY, USA


Patients’ increasing use of alternative sources of information besides their physician and more active involvement in medical decision making may be changing relationships between physicians and their patients. We term patients who provide medical information to their physicians from sources other than their physician as information-oriented patients and investigate the relationship between having such patients and physician career satisfaction. We find that having more information-oriented patients is significantly associated with lower physician career satisfaction. Though healthcare information from alternative sources other than their physicians is thought to promote better-informed patient choices, the adverse relationship with physician career satisfaction found in this study may have important implications for patient access and quality of care.

(Online publication August 12 2010)