Physicians' satisfaction with providing buprenorphine treatment

Hannah K. Knudsen, Randy Brown, Nora Jacobson, Julie Horst, Jee Seon Kim, Elizabeth Collier, Sanford Starr, Lynn M. Madden, Eric Haram, Alexander Toy, Todd Molfenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Buprenorphine is a critically important treatment for addressing the opioid epidemic, but there are virtually no studies of physicians' job satisfaction with providing buprenorphine. Physicians' job satisfaction has been linked to burnout and turnover as well as patients' adherence to treatment recommendations, so it is important to understand how physicians' satisfaction with providing buprenorphine treatment compares to their overall job satisfaction. Methods: As part of a cluster randomized clinical trial (RCT) focused on expanding access to medication for opioid use disorder, 55 physicians working in 38 organizations in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin completed a baseline web-based survey. Study measures included global job satisfaction, career satisfaction, and specialty satisfaction. Physicians who were waivered to prescribe buprenorphine were asked to rate their satisfaction with their current buprenorphine practice. Results: Overall, physicians were generally satisfied with their jobs, their careers, and their specialties. When waivered physicians (n = 40) were compared to non-waivered physicians (n = 15) on 13 satisfaction items, there were no statistically significant differences. Among waivered physicians, ratings for buprenorphine work were significantly lower than ratings for general medical practice for finding such work personally rewarding, being pleased with such work, and overall satisfaction. Conclusions: Although waivered and non-waivered physicians both reported high global job satisfaction, these data suggest that some waivered physicians may view their buprenorphine work as somewhat less satisfying than their global medical practice. Given that job dissatisfaction is a risk factor for turnover and burnout, managers of treatment organizations should consider whether strategies may be able to mitigate some sources of lower satisfaction in the context of buprenorphine treatment. Trial registration NCT02926482. Date of registration: September 9, 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
JournalAddiction Science and Clinical Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 29 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA Grant R01DA030431; PI: Molfenter). NIDA has played no role in the study design or preparation of this manuscript. The authors are solely responsible for the content of this manuscript, which does not represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or NIDA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • Buprenorphine
  • Opioid use disorder treatment
  • Physician satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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