Objectives: To examine work satisfaction, quality of life, and leisure time of neonatology fellows and senior neonatologists in Israel.
Methods: A validated questionnaire was delivered during the second half of 2008 to all the neonatology fellows and senior neonatologists in Israel. Descriptive analysis, parametric Student's t-test, and aparametric Mann Whitney and χ2 tests were conducted.
Results: Of 114 practicing neonatologists in that period in Israel (including both seniors and fellows), 112 (98.25%) participated in the study. The majority of neonatologists were male (53.2%), married (91.7%), 40-60 years old (69.7%), and studied in Israeli medical schools (62.0%). Most did their pediatric residencies and fellowships in Israel (97.2% and 75.7%, respectively). The average number of night/on-call shifts of fellows and senior neonatologists was 8.8 per month (SD ± 3.425) and the number of active on-call shifts was 4.04 (SD ± 3.194). The satisfaction level of neonatologists in Israeli medical centers with patient care, self-reward, work relations, and quality of life was high, but their satisfaction level with workload, income and prestige, and leisure time was low. The general index of work satisfaction and the general index of indices were both high in relation to the mid-range values. The majority of neonatologists stated that they would choose to practice medicine again. Most of them would encourage medical students to choose the same specialty they had chosen. Only a few neonatologists were contemplating changing their choice of specialty. Most neonatologists want to continue practicing medicine; however, a significant number will not recommend that their children do so.
Conclusions: The satisfaction level of neonatologists in Israel is high, mainly due to satisfaction with their work. High satisfaction levels promise high quality patient care, as well as high satisfaction levels of patients and their families. However, satisfaction with leisure time was low and it will require greater attention and focused steps to correct this.