Background and Objective:

Attending physicians’ career satisfaction is associated with higher patient satisfaction, better patient care, and even medical student career choice. Previous studies indicate that adequate mentorship improves job satisfaction, but finding mentors may be challenging for some hospitalists. Little is known about pediatric hospitalist career satisfaction or the role of mentorship. The goal of this study was to assess career satisfaction among pediatric hospitalists, determine which interventions may improve satisfaction, and investigate the role of mentorship in satisfaction.


This study included the use of an anonymous electronic cross-sectional survey sent to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Hospital Medicine Listserv between November 2009 and January 2010.


A total of 222 pediatric hospitalists responded; 92% agreed with the statement, “Overall, I am pleased with my work.” Of the 23 satisfaction statements, “I have adequate mentorship in my career” was rated lowest (P ≤ .001); only 44% agreed. Adequate mentorship was significantly correlated with overall career satisfaction, having sufficient opportunity for promotion, feeling valued by one’s administration, and wishing to remain at one’s current hospital. Adequate mentorship was negatively correlated with planning to change specialty or leave clinical medicine. Mentorship satisfaction did not differ by age, years as a hospitalist, gender, or practice setting. Of the 15 potential interventions, creating a formal mentorship program ranked in the top 5. Only increasing base salary received a significantly higher score.


Although surveyed hospitalists have substantial overall career satisfaction, lack of mentorship is a significant problem that spans the demographic spectrum. Establishing a mentorship program may be an effective way for hospitalist groups to improve satisfaction.

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