Comprehensive Therapy

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 210–217 | Cite as

What motivates physicians throughout their careers in medicine?

  • Neda RatanawongsaEmail author
  • Eric E. Howell
  • Scott M. Wright
Original Articles

Review Article

Motivation provides direction and purpose in physicians’ work, and motivating factors vary during different career stages. Motivation theories divide sources of motivation into those intrinsic to the work, such as the opportunity for self-expression and intellectual challenge, and those extrinsic to the work, such as salary and time. Although much attention has focused on minimizing negative extrinsic factors, the authors argue that career resilience requires that physicians reflect on and define the sources of their own intrinsic motivation. Opportunities to maximize self-awareness may allow physicians to structure their work in ways that maximize meaning and fulfillment over the long-term.


Medical Student Intrinsic Motivation Emotional Intelligence General Internal Medicine Career Choice 


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Copyright information

© ASCMS 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neda Ratanawongsa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eric E. Howell
    • 1
  • Scott M. Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical CenterJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore

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