This paper investigates sources of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in general practice and identifies pressures and difficulties experienced by general practitioners in their work. The study revealed widespread job satisfaction based on three separate (but independent) aspects of general practice: clinical, psychosocial or managerial. Despite this, significant pressures were experienced and, in common with previous studies over the last 20 years, this research found continuing problems affecting young general practitioners in particular. The main pressures currently experienced were uncertainty and insecurity about work, isolation, poor relationships with other doctors, disillusion with the role of the general practitioner, and an awareness of changing demands. These pressures were related to experience in general practice, amount of study leave and practice organization. Like previous studies, it also appears from this research that continuing education could play an important role in attenuating these difficulties. It is argued that the emphasis should be on developing support, confidence and better contacts between general practitioners, as well as teaching knowledge and skills.