Work stress, satisfaction and burnout in New Zealand radiologists: comparison of public hospital and private practice in New Zealand

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2009 Apr;53(2):194-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9485.2009.02063.x.


Different aspects of work stress, job satisfaction, level of burnout and psychiatric morbidity were evaluated in New Zealand radiologists. The present study aims to identify differences in radiologists' work stress, job satisfaction and professional burnout between public hospital and private practice work environments. A questionnaire consisting of various aspects of radiology-specific work stress and job satisfaction was sent to all radiologists in New Zealand. Burnout was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Psychiatric morbidity was estimated using the General Health Questionnaire - 12. A response rate of 51% was achieved. The aspects of radiologists' work that contributed to their work stress included 'having conflicting demands on their time' and 'having too great an overall volume of work'. There are significant differences in the extent to which these stressors were experienced, based on radiologists' work environments. Radiologists in public hospital-based practice reported significantly higher levels of work stress, lower levels of job satisfaction and higher rates of burnout. There is a trend towards a higher rate of psychiatric morbidity among radiologists who practice in public hospitals. Radiologists in the public hospital environment experience more work stress, a lower level of job satisfaction and higher rates of burnout compared to private practice. The present study highlights the various aspects of work stress important to radiologists, so that they can be addressed to improve their mental health. Additionally, the results of this study may have implications for workforce planning, recruitment and retention of radiologists in the public health system.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology*
  • Hospitals, Public / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Private Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires