The job satisfaction of physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants was assessed during the course of a multicenter study of Army primary care clinics. All providers in nine clinics at three medical centers who were engaged in adult or family care were invited to participate in the study. Questionnaires on job satisfaction and other practice style variables were completed by 26 physicians, 19 nurse practitioners, and 13 physician assistants (46, 76, and 41% of eligible providers, respectively). Analysis revealed a broad range of job satisfaction in the sample. However, average levels of job satisfaction were not significantly different across the three groups of primary care providers. Autonomy and collaboration were significant predictors of job satisfaction. It is clear that changes in health care systems that reduce, or appear to reduce, the primary care provider's autonomy in clinical matters are likely to reduce provider satisfaction as well.
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