Aims: This paper presents the findings on the level of job satisfaction among hospital physicians in Germany and puts the results into relation to demographic variables and employment status.
Methods: Data were collected as part of the survey "Work Life, Lifestyle and Health among Hospital Doctors in Germany 2006" using anonymous self-reporting questionnaires. Job satisfaction was scored using the scale according to Warr et al. It consists of 10 items with a seven-point Likert scale (1=dissatisfaction; 7=satisfaction), so the sum score ranks between 10 and 70. The following variables were correlated to job satisfaction: demographic variables (gender, age), and employment status (specialty, geographical localisation of hospital, hospital type, level of seniority, working time pattern).
Results: The response rate was 58% (n=1917). Doctors reported an average job satisfaction of 44.3. Comparing different specialties, physicians in radiology had the highest (47.6) and in surgery (43.0) the lowest level of job satisfaction. Below-average job satisfaction could also be found in urology (43.5) and internal medicine (43.7). The regression analysis showed that the younger age group (B=-1.45; p=0.031) and those with a status as junior physician (B=-4.97; p=0.0001) were significantly dissatisfied. Out of the ten items assessed "working hours" (3.25), "payment" (3.59), "physical working conditions" (3.96) and "recognition for good work" (4.08) attained the lowest ratings.
Conclusions: Hospital doctors in Germany are moderately satisfied with their jobs - less satisfied than their colleagues in England, New Zealand and Norway. Improvement of job satisfaction and working conditions should be achieved via effective regulation of working hours and improvement of recognition for medical work regarding monetary and non-monetary factors such as payment and positive feedback for good work.