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J Gen Intern Med. 1997 Nov;12(11):711-4.

Physician job satisfaction : Developing a model using qualitative data.

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Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, WI, USA.


The purpose of this study was to develop a current and comprehensive model of physician job satisfaction. Information was gathered by (1) analysis of open-ended responses from a large group practice physician survey in 1988, and (2) analysis of focus group data of diverse physician subgroups from 1995. Participants were 302 physicians from large-group practices and 26 participants in six focus groups of HMO, women, minority, and inner-city physicians. Data were used to develop a comprehensive model of physician job satisfaction. The large group practice survey data supported the key importance of day-to-day practice environment and relationships with patients and physician peers. Future concerns focused on the effect of managed care on the physician-patient relationship and the ability of physicians to provide quality care. Focus groups provided contemporary data on physician job satisfaction, reinforcing the centrality of relationships as well as special issues for diverse physician subgroups of practicing physicians. New variables that relate to physician job satisfaction have emerged from economic and organizational changes in medicine and from increasing heterogeneity of physicians with respect to gender, ethnicity, and type of practice. A more comprehensive model of physician job satisfaction may enable individual physicians and health care organizations to better understand and improve physician work life.

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