A comparison of stress and job satisfaction in female and male GPs and consultants



Swanson V, Power KG & Simpson R (1996) A comparison of stress and job satisfaction in female and male GPs and consultants. Stress Medicine, 12 (1), pp. 17-26.

Questionnaires assessing sources and levels of job satisfaction and occupational stress were completed by male and female general practitioners (N = 547) and consultant doctors (N = 449) in Scotland during a period of structural change in the health service. Job satisfaction and occupational stress scales from the Occupational Stress Inventory30 were used to compare GPs and consultants, males and females, and to enable comparisons with other occupational groups. Consultants had greater occupational stress than GPs on three OSI subscales detailing managerial aspects of their work, and also had greater job satisfaction overall than GPs. GPs were more stressed by ‘intrinsic' factors of the job itself. Females had less occupational stress and greater job satisfaction overall than males. Male GPs as a group had greatest job stress and least job satisfaction. Younger principals in general practice and consultants reported more occupational stress and less job satisfaction than older doctors. These findings have implications for health service management in terms of providing support and training in stress management for younger doctors and for female doctors. Comparisons with combined sample norms for mainly professional and managerial occupations showed that GPs and consultants in the Scottish sample had generally greater job satisfaction and less occupational stress than norms, which is contrary to expectations.

occupational stress;job satisfaction;gender differences;general practitioner;hospital consultant

Stress Medicine: Volume 12, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/1996

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Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor, Psychology