A study of physicians' intention to quit: the role of burnout, commitment and difficult doctor-patient interactions

Psicothema. 2012 May;24(2):263-70.


Research on burnout and turnover intentions offers some inconsistent findings about the effects of commitment. In addition, a factor which is insufficiently studied in the turnover field is the relationship with the recipient of physicians' work, that is, the patient. This study contributes to the research literature by examining how the moderating effect of commitment depends on difficult doctor-patient relations. A total of 480 physicians, representative of Madrid, completed the survey. According to the interaction effects and the three-way interaction analyses, the results support the argument that differences in commitment lead to differences in the way physicians perceive job, interpersonal, and chronic stress. These results add a new approach to the general assumption that commitment has a unilateral negative effect, and difficult patients have a positive effect on turnover intentions, suggesting an integrated perspective, rather than a diametrical one, that allows us comprehend the complexity of physicians' turnover intentions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Middle Aged
  • Personnel Loyalty*
  • Personnel Turnover*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires