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.