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Medical Writings |

What Do Doctors Find Meaningful about Their Work?

Carol R. Horowitz, MD, MPH; Anthony L. Suchman, MD; William T. Branch Jr., MD; and Richard M. Frankel, PhD
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From Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York; Rochester, New York; Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia; Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Disclaimer: The conclusions, views, and opinions expressed herein are the authors' and do not necessarily reflect those of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation or the authors' affiliate medical centers and universities.

Acknowledgments: The authors thank Lorna A. Rhodes for her insights and Dale Matthews and Jamie Kerr for their contributions.

Grant Support: At the time the research was conducted, Dr. Horowitz was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Carol R. Horowitz, MD, MPH, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Box 1077, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029; e-mail, Carol.Horowitz@mountsinai.org.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Horowitz: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Box 1077, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029.

Dr. Suchman: 42 Audobon Street, Rochester, NY 14610.

Dr. Branch: Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, 1525 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322.

Dr. Frankel: Regenstrief Institute, 1050 Wishard Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(9):772-775. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-138-9-200305060-00028
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Although medical practice has always been difficult and the risk for burnout close at hand, most practitioners have found that the joys and satisfaction of their work have prevailed over the challenges, enabling them to sustain a lifelong commitment to service. Thirteen years ago, we began to conduct workshops to help practitioners reflect on their own experiences in practice and discover and explicitly identify what it is about the practice of medicine that is meaningful to them. We believed that with a clear understanding of what nourished and sustained them, clinicians could attend more consciously and intentionally to enhancing that which was meaningful and attenuating that which was depleting.

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