Specialty selection and relative job satisfaction of family physicians and medical specialists in Austria.


Journal Article


Croat Med J, Volume 49, Ausgabe 3, p.375-83 (2008)




Adult, Austria, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Job Satisfaction, Male, Middle Aged, Physicians, Family, Specialization


<p><b>AIM: </b>To estimate the relative job satisfaction of Austrian family physicians and other specialists with respect to whether or not they obtained training in the desired specialty.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>In this cross-sectional study, we re-examined the previous data on allocation of medical training posts in Austria. All board-certified physicians practicing in Vienna were surveyed with a 12-item questionnaire. We analyzed the association between respondents' desired and practiced medical specialty and their answer to the question of whether they thought they would have had greater job satisfaction in a different medical specialty. We also calculated their relative job satisfaction.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Of 8127 licensed physicians, 2736 (34%) completed the questionnaire in two mailings. Of physicians who completed the questionnaire, 50.3% (43.2% of men) did not obtain the training in their desired specialty and 65.1% stated that they had originally desired a different specialty. There was a significant difference in relative job satisfaction between specialists who got their desired medical specialty (n=1005) and those who did not (n=697) (0.95 vs 0.62 of maximum 1, P<0.001). No significant difference in relative job satisfaction was found between family physicians who had originally wanted to become specialists (n=679) and specialists who had originally wanted to become family physicians (n=533; 0.89 vs 0.81; P=0.01; chi(2) test).</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>A high percentage of family physicians in Austria had originally wanted to become practitioners of a different specialty. Among physicians who did not receive training in their desired medical specialty, family physicians showed a significantly higher relative job satisfaction than specialists. Obtaining the desired medical specialty is a strong predictor of relative job satisfaction among specialists, but not among family physicians.</p>