Is being a doctor still fun?

West J Med. 1993 Dec;159(6):665-9.


Over the past two decades, a decline in physician job and career satisfaction has been reported. This study was developed to determine the current state of physician satisfaction and to define factors correlated with overall satisfaction. We mailed a survey to 406 physicians in Solano County, California. Responses were anonymous, and data were analyzed by several methods. Of the 406 physicians, 251 (62%) responded. Most respondents were satisfied with their jobs (80%). The vast majority felt good about their ability to help their patients (92%), enjoyed the relationships they had with patients (93%) and colleagues (86%), and found their work intellectually satisfying (89%). Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents thought their job was "fun." This ability to derive great pleasure from work showed the strongest correlation with overall satisfaction. Overall satisfaction did not differ between primary care and non-primary care physicians or between physicians in a large health maintenance organization and those in mostly solo and small-group fee-for-service practices. Despite substantial challenges to physician morale and autonomy, most responding physicians in our study continued to enjoy overall job satisfaction, and a solid majority thought that their work was fun.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Physicians*