Purpose: In autumn 2004 the local association of physicians (Arztlicher Kreis- und Bezirksverband München) performed a survey among employed physicians in Munich on working hours and working conditions. The aim of the study was to assess the extent to which the German law on working hours is actually implemented in employed physicians, and to obtain information about their work satisfaction.
Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all employed physicians in hospitals and medical practices. Participants were asked to give anonymous information and send it back per mail.
Results: In total, 2450 out of 5461 physicians took part in the survey. 45% reported that their working hours do not meet the German law on working hours of 1994. 44.4% stated that overtime is not fully recognized by their employers. 43.5% think the job would become more attractive if the law was implemented. 63.3% expect an income loss with the implementation. 53.7% are thinking about quitting their job. For 59.9% the burden of long working hours is an important reason for this. Women are more likely to be given a limited employment contract than men, and their overtime is more rarely recognized in full.
Conclusion: Many employed physicians in Munich are dissatisfied with their job. The high burden of long working hours is a main reason for this.