Measuring physician job satisfaction in a changing workplace and a challenging environment

Thomas R. Konrad, Eric S. Williams, Mark Linzer, Julia McMurray, Donald E. Pathman, Martha Gerrity, Mark D. Schwartz, William E. Scheckler, Judith Van Kirk, Elnora Rhodes, Jeff Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. Changes in the demographic, specialty, and employment sector composition of medicine have altered physicians' jobs, limiting autonomy and reducing morale. Because physician job satisfaction has been linked to clinical variables, better measurement might help to ameliorate conditions linked to medical disaffection, possibly improving health care. OBJECTIVE. To document conceptual development, item construction, and use of content experts in designing multidimensional measures of physician job satisfaction and global satisfaction scales for assessing physicians' job perceptions across settings and specialties. DESIGN. Using previous research, physician focus groups, secondary analysis of survey data, interviews with physician informants, and a multispecialty physician expert panel, distinct job facets and statements representing those facets were developed. RESULTS. Facets from previously validated instruments included autonomy, relationships with colleagues, relationships with patients, relationships with staff, pay, resources, and status. New facets included intrinsic satisfaction, free time away from work, administrative support, and community involvement. Physician status items were reconfigured into rela-tionships with peers, patients, staff, and community, yielding 10 hypothetical facets. Global scales and items were developed representing satisfaction with job, career, and specialty. CONCLUSIONS. A comprehensive approach to assessing physician job satisfaction yielded 10 facets, some of which had not been previously identified, and generated a matching pool of items for subsequent use in field tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1182
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Care
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude scale
  • Autonomy
  • Career satisfaction
  • Physician job satifaction
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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