Gender differences in the vocational satisfaction of physician assistants.

  • Dawn M Labarbera
  • Published 2010 in
    JAAPA : official journal of the American Academy…

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study is to analyze vocational satisfaction differences by gender as a follow-up of data gathered from a mailed survey study on American physician assistant vocational satisfaction. METHODS This is an analysis of a database from an original piloted, validated survey with a response rate of 50% from 2,323 labels from the 2003 AAPA's mailing list (n = 1,137). The survey measured vocational satisfaction in terms of career, job, and specialty choice on a forced-choice 6-point Likert-type scale. A qualitative analysis of answers to open-ended questions addressing career satisfiers and dissatisfiers was also conducted. RESULTS PAs were shown to be highly satisfied with their careers, specialty choices, and jobs. Trends for male PAs showed that they were more satisfied with their careers, specialty choices, and jobs (6-point Likert scale) but female PAs were more likely to refer others into the PA profession than their male counterparts (4-point Likert scale). Statistically significant differences via 2-tailed Mann-Whitney U tests were shown for job satisfaction (P = .02, male Likert mean 3.92 vs. female 3.78) and the likelihood to refer others into the profession (P = .04, female Likert mean 3.43 vs. male 3.33). Twenty-one factors for vocational satisfaction and 29 for dissatisfaction were qualitatively analyzed by gender. The top three satisfiers of helping others, patient interaction, and intellectual challenge were the same by rank regardless of gender. Similarly, the top three dissatisfiers were the same but in reverse order for female and male PAs: (lack of) respect, compensation, and other, for females; and other, compensation, and respect, for males. CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrated very similar vocational satisfaction measures for female PAs and male PAs via quantitative and qualitative methods with the noteworthy exception that male PAs were statistically more satisfied with their jobs while female PAs were statistically more likely to refer others into the career. These differences, while statistically significant, may be of no practical significance and need to be further studied.

Cite this paper

@article{Labarbera2010GenderDI, title={Gender differences in the vocational satisfaction of physician assistants.}, author={Dawn M Labarbera}, journal={JAAPA : official journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants}, year={2010}, volume={23 10}, pages={33-4, 36-9} }