Aims: Consultant radiologists appear to be at greater risk of burnout than consultants working in other specialties. The aim of this study was to examine sources of stress and satisfaction at work for radiologists and hospital consultants in other specialties in order to try to understand this difference.
Materials and methods: A postal questionnaire survey of psychiatric morbidity (12-item General Health Questionnaire), burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory) and sources of job stress and satisfaction (study-specific questionnaires) was carried out among a random sample of 882 hospital consultants working in radiology and three other specialties (surgery, gastroenterology and oncology).
Results: The most stressful aspect of work for radiologists was work overload. Inadequacies in current staffing and facilities and concerns about funding were also major sources of stress, as were impositions made on radiologists by other clinicians. The most important sources of satisfaction for radiologists were their relationships with patients and being perceived to do their job well by colleagues. Importantly, radiologists reported less satisfaction than the other specialists from many of the aspects of work measured. A greater proportion of radiologists than other specialists felt insufficiently trained in communication skills [80% (n = 168) vs 47% (n = 310);P < 0.001] and management skills [84% (n = 179) vs 76% (n = 506);P < 0.05].
Conclusion: These data highlight aspects of radiologists' work which need to be tackled in order to reduce their stress and increase their satisfaction, and thereby their risk of burnout.
Copyright 2000 The Royal College of Radiologists.