Pay aside, GPs are a fairly happy bunch

Are you as satisfied as your colleagues?

Most GPs enjoy their work, are happy with their colleagues and are satisfied with the freedom they have to care for patients, newly released figures reveal.

Based on a MABEL survey of some 4000 GPs last year, the findings come amid tough political times for the specialty with the continued Medicare freeze and the Health Care Homes reforms promising a radical change in funding for GP care.

The results were released by the RACGP on Tuesday night in its first annual benchmark report, General Practice: Health of the Nation.

Some 90% of GPs surveyed said they were "very satisfied" or "moderately satisfied" with their job and their colleagues, and with their “freedom to choose their own method of working”.

Dr Hester Wilson, a GP in Sydney, said she was not surprised.

“It is like a long-term relationship in a way. We grumble, but we wouldn’t want to go anywhere else,” she says.

“GPs do like the work, especially its flexibility and diversity. That has allowed me to have so many amazing therapeutic relationships.

“There are times when you can assist someone to improve their well-being and the fact that you are a witness to that is a privilege.”

GPs in numbers:

Gender: 15,486 (45%) women; 19,120 (55%) men

Full-time service equivalent: 8378 (36%) women; 14,793 (64%) men 

Vocational registration: 26,227 (84%) VR-GPs; 4910 (16%) non-VRGPs

Full-time service equivalent: 11,395 (50.8%) trained in Australia or New Zealand; 11,775 (49.2%) trained overseas