Changes in job satisfaction among doctors in Norway from 2010 to 2017: a study based on repeated surveys

A study by LEFO´s senior researcher Judith Rosta, Olaf Gjerløw Aasland and Magne Nylenna, shows that job satisfaction among Norwegian doctors has decreased, though still at a relatively high level. The decrease was significant for both GPs and hospital doctors. Private practice specialists were the most satisfied.

The open access article in BMJ Open was published 9 September 2019. Read the full text version here:

Abstract in PubMed:
OBJECTIVE: To assess job satisfaction for different categories of Norwegian doctors from 2010 to 2016-2017.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional surveys in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016-2017 of partly overlapping samples.
SETTING: Norway from 2010 to 2016-2017.
PARTICIPANTS: Doctors working in different job positions (hospital doctors, general practitioners (GPs), private practice specialists, doctors in academia). Response rates were 67% (1014/1520) in 2010, 71% (1279/1792) in 2012, 75% (1158/1545) in 2014 and 73% (1604/2195) in 2016-2017. The same 548 doctors responded at all four points in time.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Job Satisfaction Scale (JSS), a 10-item widely used instrument, with scores ranging from 1 (low satisfaction) to 7 (high satisfaction) for each item, and an unweighted mean total sum score.
ANALYSIS: General Linear Modelling, controlling for gender and age, and paired t-tests.
RESULTS: For all doctors, the mean scores of JSS decreased significantly from 5.52 (95% CI 5.42 to 5.61) in 2010 to 5.30 (5.22 to 5.38) in 2016-2017. The decrease was significant for GPs (5.54, 5.43 to 5.65 vs 5.17, 5.07 to 5.28) and hospital doctors (5.14, 5.07 to 5.21 vs 5.00, 4.94 to 5.06). Private practice specialists were most satisfied, followed by GPs and hospital doctors. The difference between the GPs and the private practice specialists increased over time.
CONCLUSIONS: From 2010 to 2016-2017 job satisfaction for Norwegian doctors decreased, but it was still at a relatively high level. Several healthcare reforms and regulations over the last decade and changes in the professional culture may explain some of the reduced satisfaction.

Read more about the study (in Norwegian):
- Rosta J. Legers jobbtilfredshet i endring. Tidsskr Nor Legeforen 2019; 139: 1592. 
- Leger er mindre fornøyd med jobben, intervju med førsteforfatter Judith Rosta, Målfrid Bordvik/Dagens Medisin (publisert på nett 15.11.2019)