Volume 45 (2007) Issue 5 Pages 662-671
Although physicians are known to experience more stress than other workers, knowledge is lacking on the course of stress from a longitudinal perspective. This study explored the course of and contributors to, different dimensions of early career job-stress among physicians by means of a nationwide mail survey, with a particular emphasis on stress relating to the work-home interference. All physicians graduating from all four Norwegian universities in 1993 / 94 (N=631), responded during their final year of medical school (N=522), during their internship (N=402), in their 4th postgraduate year (N=422), and in their 10th postgraduate year (N=390). The mean observation period was 9.2 yr (SD=0.5). The main outcomes were job stress dimensions derived from an established job stress questionnaire (Cooper / Tyssen), with emphasis placed on dimensions of the work-home interference. Stress relating to the work-home interference increased during the observation period for both genders (repeated measures: β=0.06, p<0.05), whereas stress relating to emotional pressure, time pressure, and fear of complaints and criticism, decreased. Stress relating to the work-home interference increased during their early career, mainly due to a lack of adaptive reduction in work hours and an increased number of children. Neuroticism, conscientiousness, and lack of support from one's partner and colleagues, appeared to be predictive of this stress.