Remaining a physician until retirement? Examining perceptions of physicians' career enrichment and experiences with career self- management and career policy to enhance physicians' sustainable employability
Leeuwen, E.H. van
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine physicians' and managers' career enrichment perceptions and experiences in regard to physicians' sustainable employability. Design/methodology/approach - This explorative study is based on 40 interviews that include 28 physicians and 12 managers specifically selected from two Dutch hospitals to ensure a wide variety of perspectives. Findings - Attention to physicians' career enrichment is lacking on both the physician front and the manager side. In general, physicians hardly follow learning trajectories besides obligatory ones. Some physicians are found to have changed their work content at the end of their career. But hardly any attention is paid to career planning. To physicians, the role of managers in physicians' career enrichment is described as passive, and support by the organization is perceived as limited, plain in content, and available only to selective groups. Nonetheless, both physicians and managers consider career enrichment to be important in increasing physicians' sustainable employability and offer examples to supplement such consideration. Research limitations/implications - First, physicians and managers are not specifically asked to discuss ideas of continuing in a job within the organization or outside the organization. This may have caused an internal focus when discussing sustainable employability. Second, selection effects may influence the results as physicians participated in this study on a voluntary basis. Third, the perspectives of managers in this study are similar to physicians' perspectives as most managers in this study work at the same time as physicians. Practical implications - It is desirable if physicians and managers are stimulated and supported to explore career enrichment options for physicians and invest in their sustainable employability. Originality/value - The value of this study comes in the explorative and qualitative character which enables to understand underlying perspectives affecting physicians' awareness for career enrichment, in the focus on career enrichment of physicians as careers of professionals are understudied, and it examines a broad sample of physicians to examine specific perceptions of this group which are unclear as previous studies only included a selective group of physicians with a specific specialty or age.