Most doctors in Australia are moderately or very satisfied
with their jobs, according to an NHMRC-funded study published in the Medical
Journal of Australia.
Dr Catherine Joyce, Senior Lecturer for the Department of
Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine at Monash University, Melbourne, and
co-authors from Monash and the University of Melbourne investigated whether
levels of job satisfaction and determinants of satisfaction differ between
Australian GPs, specialists, specialists-in-training and hospital
Dr Joyce said that most doctors were moderately or very
satisfied with their jobs and there was no significant difference in job
satisfaction between GPs, specialists and specialists-intraining. However,
hospital non-specialists appeared to be less satisfied than GPs.
Specialists were most likely to be very satisfied (37.5 per
cent), followed by GPs (32.7 per cent), specialists-in-training (21.4 per cent)
and hospital non-specialists (16.9 per cent). Fewer than two per cent of
doctors in each group were very dissatisfied, but 12 per cent of hospital
non-specialists were moderately dissatisfied compared with 7-8 per cent for
Doing on-call work and the number of hours worked per week
were not statistically significant and did not differ across doctor types,
although specialists doing on-call work were less likely to be satisfied than
GPs doing on-call work.
Dr Joyce said that having a professional support network was
strongly associated with job satisfaction, consistent with research showing
that it was a key factor in retention for rural areas, and that graduates'
perceptions of professional support influenced their career choice.
"Questions about whether job satisfaction influences
doctors' decisions about working hours, retention and mobility are central to
examining patterns of access to health care, and require further research," Dr
The Medical Journal of Australia
is a publication
of the Australian Medical Association.