Author(s): Kluger MT, Townend K, Laidlaw T
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Abstract A postal survey was sent to specialist anaesthetists in Australia looking at aspects of job satisfaction, dissatisfaction and stress. Burnout was measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The response rate was 60\% (422/700) with the majority of respondents being male (83\%). Stressful aspects of anaesthesia included time constraints and interference with home life. Experienced assistants and improved work organisation helped to reduce stress. The high standard of practice and practical aspects of the job were deemed satisfying, whereas poor recognition and long hours were the major dissatisfying aspects of the job. With respect to burnout, high emotional exhaustion, high levels of depersonalisation and low levels of personal achievement were seen in 20, 20 and 36\% of respondents, respectively. Female anaesthetists reported higher stress levels than males (p = 0.006), but tended to prioritise home/work commitments better than males (p = 0.05). Private practitioners rated time issues of high importance compared with public hospital doctors, whereas public hospital doctors rated communication problems as being more significant than with private specialists. Although burnout levels are high in anaesthetists, they compare favourably with other medical groups. There are, however, aspects of the anaesthetist's job that warrant further attention to improve job satisfaction and stress.
This article was published in Anaesthesia
and referenced in Biology and Medicine