Aims: To examine the trend in job satisfaction from 2000 to 2006 among Norwegian doctors, and the possible impact of two comprehensive healthcare reforms on doctors' job satisfaction.
Methods: The study population consisted of a representative sample of approximately 1,600 Norwegian doctors, selected from nationwide repeated postal surveys in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. The questionnaires contained the validated 10-item job satisfaction scale (JSS). Each item was scored on a seven-point Likert scale from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 7 (very satisfied). General linear modelling (GLM) controlled for gender, age, specialty and type of job was used to describe the trend in the score of JSS from 2000 to 2006.
Results: The overall job satisfaction among Norwegian doctors was high and relatively stable from 2000 to 2004, with a non-significant dip in 2002. There was a significant increase in job satisfaction from 2000 to 2006. The job satisfaction was generally higher for older doctors than for younger doctors, but no gender difference was found. Private practice specialists were the most satisfied at all points in time, and general practitioners were more satisfied than hospital doctors. No significant or persistent impact of two healthcare reforms was found.
Conclusion: Job satisfaction among Norwegian doctors is high and increasing. The lack of impact on this even from comprehensive healthcare reforms points to a robust satisfaction based on internal values more than external changes. The consistent finding of increasing - rather than declining - job satisfaction among Norwegian doctors, contrasts with widely held opinions in the public.