As a health-care provider, job satisfaction allows you to provide an increase in patient continuity of care. For the well being of you and your patients, it’s important that you get fulfillment from your job, not just temporarily, but on a long-term basis.

Consider the following three components when measuring long-term job satisfaction:

1. Money matters

The importance of feeling fairly compensated and incentivized is crucial to job satisfaction and long-term employment.

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According to a 2004 survey of members of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants, compensation was listed as the primary reason for seeking a new job.

When choosing your job, it’s important to inquire about raises and fair production-based compensation. That is why negotiation is such and important skill.

2. Positive work environment

Liking what you do and whom you work with may be the most important factor when it comes to measuring job satisfaction. Not only do you need to like the patients you care for, but you also need to like the medicine that you perform. If you’re in oncology and feel terribly depressed, it’s time to change. If you’re sick of the polypharmacy of primary care, perhaps you should look into a surgical procedure-based position. Whatever your situation is, an evaluation of your work surroundings will help you to measure how happy you truly are.

Being able to like the individuals who you work with may be just as important as liking what you do. If your office is full of drama or you don’t get the support you feel you need, it may just be time for you to move on.

It goes without saying that having a supervisor who respects you, teaches and learns from you, and shows support is a vital component of job satisfaction.

3. Count the intangibles

Take into account such benefits as health insurance, vacation time, maternity leave, or retirement savings plans.

It’s important to put a value on office location, hours, and flexibility. And while these things may not be reflected in your paycheck, you would certainly miss them if they disappeared.

Ask yourself: Do you dread going to work? If the answer is yes, then it’s time for a change. But before you change jobs, ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to make your current employment situation better. Perhaps discussing this piece with your coworkers will nudge you in the right direction.