While significant variations in physicians' practice behavior are well documented, the determinants for these variations are largely unexplored. Focusing on resident physicians, this study examines self-esteem and reaction to uncertainty to explain variations in practice behavior.
Analysis of covariance structures is used. Based on the data collected from 75 resident physicians, the findings indicate physicians' self-efficacy influences the amount of stress they experience under uncertainty, which, in turn, affects practice behavior. Physicians' self-worth,
on the other hand, has direct effects on practice behavior but not on their willingness to disclose uncertainty. In sum, physicians, who report higher levels of self-worth and less stress from uncertainty, show more effective and efficient practice behavior.