Physicians’ values may be shifting under managed care, but there have been no empirical data to support this claim. We describe physician conceptions of responsibility to individual patients and distributive justice in health care, and explore whether these values are associated with type of managed care practice and professional satisfaction. Conclusions: Physicians with a strong sense of responsibility to individual patients are older and less likely to practice in staff-model MCOs. Stronger commitment to an egalitarian health care system and a strong sense of responsibility to individual patients are independently associated with greater practice satisfaction among physicians. The impact of these values on patient care should be a priority for future research and the subject of professional education and debate.

Mary Catherine Beach, MD, Lisa S. Meredith, PhD3 Jodi Halpern, MD, PhD Kenneth B. Wells, MD, Daniel E. Ford, MD