Association of "Grit" and Satisfaction in Rural and Nonrural Doctors

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Background: One potential psychological construct, grit, may help to explain the non-cognitive traits that account for both rural physician satisfaction and retention. We investigated (1) the psychological construct grit among rural and non-rural primary care/specialty care physicians, (2) satisfaction levels and (3), the relationship between the psychological construct grit and satisfaction across combinations of rural/non-rural and primary care/specialty care physicians.

Methods: We mailed a cross-sectional questionnaire to 2126 active members of the Idaho Medical Association and Idaho Academy of Family Physicians measuring their self-reported level of grit, satisfaction level and area of specialty.

Results: We received responses from 564 physicians (26.5%). Idaho physicians have relatively uniform levels of grit independent of specialty or practice location. Specialty care physicians reported significantly higher levels of ambition, regardless of practice location. Most physicians were satisfied with their practice (91.7%). Specialty care physicians reported a significantly higher difference in their levels of satisfaction with their practice compared to primary care physicians.

Conclusions: Idaho primary care and specialty care physicians in both rural and non-rural settings reports themselves as individuals who work hard, persevere despite setbacks, and are ambitious. Furthermore, Idaho physicians are satisfied with their current practices.