Physician job satisfaction: Developing a model using qualitative data

Julia E. McMurray, Eric Williams, Mark D. Schwartz, Jeffrey Douglas, Judith Van Kirk, T. Robert Konrad, Martha Gerrity, Judy Ann Bigby, Mark Linzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to develop a current and comprehensive model of physician job satisfaction. Information was gathered by (1) analysis of open-ended responses from a large group practice physician survey in 1988, and (2) analysis of focus group data of diverse physician subgroups from 1995. Participants were 302 physicians from large-group practices and 26 participants in six focus groups of HMO, women, minority, and inner-city physicians. Data were used to develop a comprehensive model of physician job satisfaction. The large group practice survey data supported the key importance of day-to-day practice environment and relationships with patients and physician peers. Future concerns focused on the effect of managed care on the physician-patient relationship and the ability of physicians to provide quality care. Focus groups provided contemporary data on physician job satisfaction, reinforcing the centrality of relationships as well as special issues for diverse physician subgroups of practicing physicians. New variables that relate to physician job satisfaction have emerged from economic and organizational changes in medicine and from increasing heterogeneity of physicians with respect to gender, ethnicity, and type of practice. A more comprehensive model of physician job satisfaction may enable individual physicians and health care organizations to better understand and improve physician work life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-714
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received from the Deparanents of Medicine (JEM. JVK. ML) and Biostatistics (liD), Univel~ihj of Wiscons#t School of Medicgte, Madison; the Sheps CeT~ien Division oT~ Health Professiontis (EW. TRtQ. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hffl: D~vis~on of Pr~nary Care. Department of Internal Medicine. New York Universitzj, New York (MDS): DeparUnent of Medicine, OregoTt Health Sciences UTttverstty, Portlartd (MO); DeparUnent of Med5 ctne. Brigham and Wom~R'S Hospital. Harvard Medical School. Boston, Mass. (JB): and the Socieaj of OeTteral Internal Medicine (JEM, MDS, MO, JAB, ML), Washington. DC. Supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Williams is curreTttly affiliated with the Program for Health Services Mar~agement Ur~iversiaj of Missom-L Columbia. Other members of the CSSO are Donald Pathmarc MD. Univ. of North Carolina. Chapel Hi}f: Elnora Rhodes. SQIM. Washing-tore DC: John Frey, MD, Dept. of Family Medicine, Univ. of Wis consir~ Madison: Kathleen G. Nelsorc MD. Dept of Pediatrics. Children's Hospital. Birmtngharrc Ala,: William E, Scheckler. MD, Dept of Family Medicine, UT~iv. of WtscoT~s#~ Medical School, Madison; Mary Ramsbottom Luciel: MD, Univ. of Ken tucky. Lexington: Richard Shugerman. MD. Univ. of Washing-tore Seattle. Address correspondence aTzd repliTzt requests to Dr. McMur ray: J5/2t0 CSC, UTztversihy of Wiscons#z School of Medicine, Department of Med~cae. 600 H~gltand Ave.. Madison. W153 772.


  • Career satisfaction
  • Physician job satisfaction
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Women physicians


Dive into the research topics of 'Physician job satisfaction: Developing a model using qualitative data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this