Background: Despite the increasing need for primary care physicians (PCPs) around the world, few physicians choose it as a career. PCPs who can find meaning and enjoyment in their work can be role models for medical students and professionals, which may encourage more physicians to specialize in primary care. We aimed to compare the kinds of work that Japanese PCPs who derive greater positive meaning from work engage in versus those who derive less positive meaning from work. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that used self-administered questionnaires to ask Japanese PCPs about their basic characteristics and engagement in and enthusiasm for various types of work. The outcomes of the Japanese version of the work as meaning inventory (J-WAMI) were also assessed. Participants were divided into high- and low-scoring groups according to the median J-WAMI score, and logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors related to the high J-WAMI-scoring group. Results: A total of 268 out of 330 participants were included in the analysis. Males comprised 74.3%, and participants' average experience as a physician was 20.2 years. The median overall J-WAMI score was 38. Factors associated with the high J-WAMI scoring group were enthusiasm for outpatient care (OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 1.02–1.06) and engagement in research (OR: 2.74, 95% CI 1.33–5.66). Conclusions: Enthusiasm for outpatient care and engagement in research are associated with greater positive meaning of work among PCPs. Supporting these types of work may enhance PCPs' value of their work.
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