Career Satisfaction of American Plastic Surgeons: ASPS Survey

A new study conducted by plastic surgeons from the University of Michigan has been published online (ahead of print) in the ASPS journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The article includes survey data about career satisfaction among American plastic surgeons. Information that could be considered valuable for medical students, doctors and patients

Previous studies found a link between high quality care and the doctor’s satisfaction in his or her job. With plastic surgeons, the survey results provide a picture of the general health of this profession in America and how that might affect the care you receive.

A survey was mailed to 708 doctors who are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, half of them male and the other half female. The inquiry posed several questions about career satisfaction such as:

  • Was a career in plastic surgery the right choice?
  • Would you choose this career again if you had to do it over again?

Other questions inquired about income, switching specialties and retiring early. The results are very positive, i.e. it appears that plastic surgery is a generally satisfying career in the United States. 93 percent of respondents said it was the right career choice and 78 percent said they would make the choice again if they had to. Only a small percentage said they regretted the choice to become a plastic surgeon.

The most interesting outcomes of the survey were 1) the data regarding differences in satisfaction between surgeons who are “intellectually isolated” and those who are actively involved with their colleagues, and 2) the difference in satisfaction between surgeons who are focused primarily on reconstructive surgery and those who “balanced” their focus between reconstructive and cosmetic operations.

The study is published online ahead of print and you can access it through the journal’s website.


Satisfaction with Career Choice among U.S. Plastic Surgeons: Results from a National Survey. Streu, Rachel; Hawley, Sarah; Gay, Ashley; Salem, Barbara; Abrahamse, Paul; Alderman, Amy K . Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.

Posted in: Research Study

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