Because of recent concerns about the professional satisfaction of physicians in general and of military physicians in particular, the authors surveyed a national sample of 1,392 military physicians; 88% responded. Two-thirds of physicians were at least somewhat satisfied with the professional abilities of their peers and with the quality of care they were able to provide, but only 19% were satisfied with salary and 27% with practice efficiency. Characteristics of physicians that were independently related to overall satisfaction included age, recruitment pathway, workload, specialty, and perceived availability of key resources. Indicator variables for the individual medical facilities were also significantly related to global satisfaction, suggesting a separate "hospital effect" that bears additional investigation. Efforts to improve satisfaction may enhance recruitment and retention of military physicians.
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