Background: Workforce shortages make it important to promote job satisfaction and career longevity in general practitioners. We aimed to investigate strategies that maintain and improve Melbourne (Victoria) GP job satisfaction.
Methods: A postal survey of a random selection of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners vocationally recognised GPs (N=860). Open ended answers were coded according to themes and compared between genders.
Results: Thirty-eight percent of surveyed GPs responded. The mean satisfaction score was 50 out of 70 (SD 9). Women GPs were more satisfied than men with life-work balance (p<0.01). Most frequently nominated themes for satisfaction were job variety, longitudinal patient relationships, belief in the value of the work and intellectual stimulation. Strategies to improve GP satisfaction were increased pay, reduced paperwork, and improved administrative systems.
Discussion: General practitioners were satisfied with their jobs due to the intrinsic qualities of their work and workplace. Decreasing the administrative burden, increasing remuneration and improving practice supports may improve metropolitan GP job satisfaction.