Job Satisfaction of Registered Victorian Dental Practitioners in 1999

Objective: To measure job satisfaction among clinical dentists in Victoria so as to identify issues influencing recruitment and retention of dentists in active clinical practice.

Design: A questionnaire measuring facets of job satisfaction was mailed to a stratified random sample of 80 private and 80 public sector dentists selected from the 1999 Victorian Dental Register.

Results: An adjusted response rate of 60% was achieved. Analyses showed significant differences (MANN-WHITNEY; p<0.05) in levels of satisfaction between dentists working in private and public sectors. Differences related to autonomy, relationships with patients, pay, resources, global job satisfaction and global specialty satisfaction scales. Items that may be pertinent to issues influencing recruitment and retention include ability to refer and receive patients, being overwhelmed by patient needs, fair compensation, availability of dental supplies and sufficient clinical space, frustration with work situation and reselection of area and practice. These findings represent the first Australian research into dentists’ job satisfaction. Significant differences exist between levels of job satisfaction among private and public sector dentists. These differences need to be addressed in order to improve recruitment and retention rates of dentists in the Victorian Dental Health System. Supported by a contract from the Victorian Department of Human Services.

L Luzzi*, AJ Spencer, K Jones, D Teusner

Presented at the 33rd Public Health Association of Australia Annual Conference, 23-26 September 2001, Sydney, Australia

Note: * indicates presenter

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