Healthcare Professions with the Least & Most Job Satisfaction

A naturopathic doctor smiling at father-and-baby patients.

If you have a passion for helping people and would like to work in the healthcare field, there are a number of factors to consider in order to find the right fit that provides the highest level of job satisfaction, including stability, salary, and work/life balance.

Burnout in the Medical Field

Although conventional medical professions such as physicians and nurses have many of the factors that generally contribute to job satisfaction, one in three people in conventional medicine experience the signs of burnout. 1 Burnout symptoms include emotional exhaustion, excessive stress, depersonalization, decreased effectiveness at work, and feelings of low personal accomplishment. 2 Because of the high prevalence of burnout within the medical field, healthcare professions that allow for more flexibility and the ability to prioritize work/life balance can be a good fit for people who wish to pursue their passion for wellness while maintaining a lower-stress lifestyle.

Careers in naturopathic medicine and other holistic healthcare practices such as acupuncture, traditional Asian medicine, and chiropractic medicine provide opportunities for added flexibility in terms of hours worked, the nature of work done, and work/life balance, making it easier to prevent burnout in daily life. Naturopathic physicians typically do not see more than 40-60 patients per week, while conventional physicians generally see 80-99. 3 

What Contributes to Job Satisfaction?

There are a number of factors that must all work in tandem to produce the most job satisfaction. Salary, work environment, job stability, relationships with colleagues, flexibility, career development, and work/life balance have been shown to be the most important elements in a satisfying, rewarding career path. 4 5 

According to AANMC’s 2015 Graduate Success and Compensation Study, 74% reported that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their career in naturopathic medicine. 6 

Naturopathic doctors are able to build their career in many different ways according to their individual priorities, whether that be full-time clinical work, part-time clinical work, or clinical work paired with another stream of naturopathic work, such as consulting, public speaking, research, or wellness education. 

To learn more about what it is like to work in the field of naturopathic medicine or to get information about specific AANMC schools, including degrees offered, curriculum, financial aid, and student resources, request information today.


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