BACKGROUND: Job satisfaction of physicians is an important issue for performance of a health care system. The aim of the study was to evaluate the job satisfaction of primary care physicians in Switzerland and to explore associations between overall job satisfaction, individual characteristics and satisfaction with aspects of work within the practice separated by gender.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was based on a job satisfaction survey. Data were collected from 176 primary care physicians working in 91 primary care practices. Job satisfaction was measured with the 10-item Warr-Cook-Wall job satisfaction scale. Stepwise linear regression analysis was performed for physicians separated by gender.
RESULTS: The response rate was 92.6%. Primary care physicians reported the highest level of satisfaction with 'freedom of working method' (mean = 6.45) and the lowest satisfaction for 'hours of work' (mean = 5.38) and 'income' (mean = 5.49). Moreover, some aspects of job satisfaction were rated higher by female physicians than male physicians. Within the stepwise regression analysis, the aspect 'opportunity to use abilities' (β = 0.644) showed the highest association to overall job satisfaction for male physicians while for female physicians it was income (β = 0.733).
CONCLUSIONS: The presented results contribute to an understanding of factors that influence levels of satisfaction of female and male physicians. Therefore, research and intervention about job satisfaction should consider gender as well as the stereotypes that come along with these social roles.