The views of doctors on their working lives: a qualitative study

J R Soc Med. 2008 Dec;101(12):592-7. doi: 10.1258/jrsm.2008.080195.


Objective: To describe doctors' views on, and responses to, their professional working lives in the UK National Health Service (NHS).

Design: Qualitative study using semi structured interviews. Setting Two district hospitals and primary care settings in the North of England.

Participants: Fifty-two doctors participated in the study--47 worked in hospital and five worked in general practice.

Main outcome measures: Qualitative information regarding doctors' views on their working lives.

Results: The study provided insights into the views of their working lives of a sample of doctors in the NHS. Feelings they articulated contained a number of ambivalences. Feelings about the future were coloured by concerns about the impact of regulatory changes and processes of modernization on the experiential knowledge of doctors.

Conclusions: These insights into doctors' views of their working lives might usefully inform those involved in the planning and overseeing of changes to health service structures and systems.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Professional Practice*