Patient Satisfaction Scores Impact Pediatrician Practice Patterns, Job Satisfaction, and Burnout

David J. Sas, Imad Absah, Sean M. Phelan, Avni Y. Joshi, Ana L. Creo, Supriya Behl, Kristine T. Hanson, Seema Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patient satisfaction (PS) surveying has become a commonly used measure of physician performance, but little is known about the impact on pediatricians. To investigate our hypothesis that PS surveys negatively impact pediatricians, we conducted a survey at an academic children’s medical center. Of 155 eligible physicians, 115 responded (response rate 74%). Two-thirds (68%) did not find the PS score report useful and 88% did not feel that PS scores accurately reflect the physician’s clinical ability. A third reported ordering tests, medications, or consultations due to pressure for higher PS scores. In addition, one-third agreed that PS surveys contribute to burnout and make it difficult to practice meaningful medicine. Overall, PS score reporting has a negative impact on pediatricians, especially those who are female, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of color), subspecialists, younger, and attended non-US medical schools. Further investigation into improved methods for providing feedback to pediatric physicians is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-780
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • burnout
  • experience
  • patient satisfaction
  • practice
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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