Viewpoint:: Enhancing the Professional Fulfillment of Physicians

Brown, Shanaree; Gunderman, Richard B. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.ACM.0000225224.27776.0d
Practicing Physicians

Academic medical centers (AMCs) devote countless hours to studying the diagnosis and treatment of disease, yet little or no time to determining the factors that enhance or detract from physicians’ professional fulfillment. This is unfortunate because physicians’ degree of professional engagement, the quality of care they provide, and their tendency to burn out all depend on the fulfillment they find in work.

Indeed, if AMCs are to thrive, it is vital to understand and promote the professional fulfillment of physicians. This article reviews the sources of professional fulfillment among physicians and outlines ways to enhance it within physicians’ organizations.

Ms. Brown is a third-year medical student, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Gunderman is associate professor of radiology, pediatrics, medical education, philosophy, liberal arts, and philanthropy, Indiana University Schools of Medicine and Liberal Arts, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Gunderman, Indiana University School of Medicine, 702 Barnhill Drive, RI 1053, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5200; telephone: (317) 278-6302; fax: (317) 274-2920; e-mail: (

© 2006 Association of American Medical Colleges