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2021, Volume 37, Number 1, Page(s) 039-050     
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DOI: 10.5146/tjpath.2020.01513
How Does It Feel to Be a Pathologist in Turkey? Results of a Survey on Job Satisfaction and Perception of Pathology
1Department of Pathology, Adiyaman University Training and Research Hospital, ADIYAMAN, TURKEY
2Department of Public Health Ege University, Faculty of Medicine, IZMIR, TURKEY
3Department of Pathology, Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, IZMIR, TURKEY
4Department of Pathology, Ege University, Faculty of Medicine, IZMIR, TURKEY
Keywords: Surgical pathology, Pathologists, Job satisfaction, Perspective, Minnesota satisfaction questionnaire

Objective: Job satisfaction affects productivity and professional performance in many aspects; however, there is limited data regarding pathologists’ job satisfaction. Hence, in this study, we aimed to evaluate surgical pathologists’ job satisfaction in Turkey.

Materials and Methods: We conducted a 59-item web-based survey questioning respondents’ institutional background, history of training, continuing education status/research activities, physical conditions, professional well-being, and job satisfaction level. Likert-type and open/ close ended questions were asked and scored. The participants were also asked to complete the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire-Short Form.

Results: Of the 321 respondents, 75% were female, the median age was 41 years (range 28-71 years), experience as a pathologist ranged between 0.12 and 44 years (mean 11.4±9.16 years). Academic pathologists, senior pathologists with ≥20 years of experience, and pathologists working at large institutions and living in developed cities expressed better physical conditions, higher satisfaction with working conditions and, therefore, higher overall job satisfaction (p<0.05). 98% agreed that pathologists have a critical impact on patient management; however, the majority (>80%) thought that patients barely know what pathologists do and other physicians rarely understand the difficulty and limitations in pathology practice. 82% were happy to have chosen pathology but 45% reported to experience the feeling of being “burnt out”.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that younger pathologists are less satisfied with their jobs and a surgical pathologist’s job satisfaction increases with the physical and technical quality of the pathology laboratory/institution, and years of experience. Pathologists seem to be aware of their important role in patient management although they think that pathology remains “invisible” to many physicians and patients.

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