A postal questionnaire survey was conducted in 1993 to determine the job satisfaction and current state of health of British-trained pre-registration house officers (PRHOs) working in the West Midlands Regional Health Authority. The questionnaire included parts of the Occupational Stress Indicator looking at job satisfaction, and mental and physical ill-health (as manifestations of stress). Out of 234 eligible PRHOs 182 (78%) returned questionnaires: female PRHOs had significantly higher scores for physical and mental ill-health than male PRHOs; 14.2% of PRHOs had scores for mental ill-health, and 17.6% scores for physical ill-health that were higher than the average reported for patients with psycho-neurotic disorders. The PRHOs had significantly lower scores for all individual aspects of job satisfaction and total job satisfaction, and significantly higher scores for mental and physical ill-health than a comparative group of junior hospital doctors (all grades), and a large group of non-health-care white-collar workers. These results indicate that there is a need to raise awareness of stress and stress-related problems faced by junior doctors, and to provide adequate support.