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Chiropractic Research Review

Interprofessional Collaboration and Job Satisfaction: The Chiropractic Perspective

Doctors of chiropractic are growing in number and legitimacy in the health care community, particularly in terms of recognition by insurance companies and managed care plans. However, little research addresses how interactions with medical doctors influence chiropractors' jobs and career perceptions.

In a cross-sectional survey of 311 chiropractors in North Carolina, researchers attempted to identify factors associated with variations in how DCs evaluate their interactions with MDs, and measure their overall job satisfaction.

To do this, the researchers adapted for chiropractors a previously validated, multifaceted measure of medical doctors' satisfaction. The basic hypothesis was that if increasing interprofessional interaction between MDs and DCs was important to the latter's professional self-image, more frequent interactions would positively influence DCs' evaluation of and satisfaction with their own careers.

Results: Nearly 76% of chiropractors responding to the survey reported occasional or frequent formal consultation with MDs regarding specific patients; only 17% reported no communication whatsoever with their MD counterparts. Interactions between DCs and MDs appeared to have little or no influence on DCs' perceptions of their own jobs or their overall satisfaction with their careers. Most chiropractors rated their satisfaction with their relationships with MDs as "low"; this rating was influenced primarily by the number of MD referrals to the DC and by the perception that the MD was practicing "collaboratively" with the DC.

The authors note that most DCs surveyed have relatively high job satisfaction associated with "intrinsic rewards of patient care, extrinsic rewards of compensation, and positive collegial relationships with other DCs," and that job satisfaction is "unaffected by the low level of satisfaction [they] report having with their relationships with MDs. These findings suggest that despite increasing interaction and interdependence, DCs' relationship with MDs is of minor importance in their professional self-image."

Konrad TR, Fletcher GS, Carey TS. Interprofessional collaboration and job satisfaction of chiropractic physicians. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, May 2004;27(4):245-52.
www.mosby.com/jmpt

Chiropractic Research Review

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