Aims: To compare German and Norwegian hospital doctors on 10 different aspects of job satisfaction and general life satisfaction.
Methods: The study population consisted of a representative sample of 1,448 German and 484 Norwegian hospital doctors aged 33-65 years (n = 1,932), selected from nationwide postal surveys in 2006. The questionnaires contained items on subjective life satisfaction and the validated 10-item Job Satisfaction Scale. Each item was scored on a seven-point Likert scale from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 7 (very satisfied). A mean sum score was calculated, ranging from 1 to 7. Regression analyses and generalized-linear-model-estimated means controlled for age and gender with 95% confidence intervals were used for comparison.
Results: Norwegian hospital doctors had significantly higher life satisfaction (mean 5.31 vs. 5.15) and job satisfaction (mean 5.09 vs. 4.55) than their German colleagues. Item by item, doctors in Norway were significantly more content with seven aspects of their work: "Freedom to choose your own methods of working'' (mean 5.00 vs. 4.72), "opportunities to use your skills'' (mean 5.49 vs. 5.01), "physical working conditions'' (mean 4.62 vs. 4.08), "recognition you get for good achievements'' (mean 4.83 vs. 4.26), "overall job situation'' (mean 5.57 vs. 4.64), "work hours'' (mean 4.39 vs. 3.39), "ate of pay'' (mean 4.70 vs. 3.70). General life satisfaction and age, but not gender, were positively associated with job satisfaction in both countries.
Conclusions: Norwegian hospital doctors enjoy a higher level of life and job satisfaction than German hospital doctors. The most likely reasons for this are more acceptable work hours, salary and control over clinical work in Norway.