Measuring physician job satisfaction in a changing workplace and a challenging environment. SGIM Career Satisfaction Study Group. Society of General Internal Medicine

Med Care. 1999 Nov;37(11):1174-82. doi: 10.1097/00005650-199911000-00010.


Background: Changes in the demographic, specialty, and employment sector composition of medicine have altered physicians' jobs, limiting autonomy and reducing morale. Because physician job satisfaction has been linked to clinical variables, better measurement might help to ameliorate conditions linked to medical disaffection, possibly improving health care.

Objective: To document conceptual development, item construction, and use of content experts in designing multidimensional measures of physician job satisfaction and global satisfaction scales for assessing physicians' job perceptions across settings and specialties.

Design: Using previous research, physician focus groups, secondary analysis of survey data, interviews with physician informants, and a multispecialty physician expert panel, distinct job facets and statements representing those facets were developed.

Results: Facets from previously validated instruments included autonomy, relationships with colleagues, relationships with patients, relationships with staff, pay, resources, and status. New facets included intrinsic satisfaction, free time away from work, administrative support, and community involvement. Physician status items were reconfigured into relationships with peers, patients, staff, and community, yielding 10 hypothetical facets. Global scales and items were developed representing satisfaction with job, career, and specialty.

Conclusions: A comprehensive approach to assessing physician job satisfaction yielded 10 facets, some of which had not been previously identified, and generated a matching pool of items for subsequent use in field tests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Specialization
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States