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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00177

Psychiatry residents in China: Socio-demographic characteristics, Career Satisfaction, and Related Factors

 Feng Jiang1,  Huixuan Zhou1, Linlin Hu1,  Jeffrey J. Rakofsky2, Tingfang Liu3, Shichao Wu1,  Liu H. Zhong4, Yuanli Liu1* and  Yi-lang Tang2, 5*
  • 1Public Health School, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China
  • 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, United States
  • 3Institute for Hospital Management, Tsinghua University, China
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Chaohu Hospital of Anhui Medical University, China
  • 5Atlanta VA Health Care System, United States

Objective: To study the socio-demographic characteristics, the working environment, and the amount of career satisfaction among psychiatry residents in China.
Method: This was a part of a large-scale, nation-wide online survey of hospitals, healthcare professionals, and patients. Data, including socio-demographics, work hours, income, job satisfaction, and intention to quit were collected anonymously. Respondents also completed the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ).
Results: One thousand and sixty residents nested in 32 psychiatric hospitals in 29 provinces in China completed the survey. Respondents were predominantly female (69.0%), worked an average of 47.8±11.6 hours per week, and 28.97% had experienced medical disputes in the previous year. The top three reported reasons for dissatisfaction were low pay (50.1%), contentious doctor-patient relationships (17.6%) and high workload (10.8%). An intention to quit their current job was reported by 18.7% of residents. The overall mean MSQ score was 73.8±13.8, with significant differences across post-graduate training year and regions. A multilevel regression analysis found that a higher MSQ score was significantly associated with fewer years in residency, shorter work hours, higher monthly pay, having medical liability insurance, and feeling satisfied with the level of doctor-nurse cooperation, their hospitals’ medical disputes prevention/management, and the healthcare workers’ social environment.
Conclusion: Psychiatry residents in China are predominantly female and well-educated. They are only moderately satisfied with their career. Poor salaries, contentious doctor-patient relationships and high workload are among their top complaints and may explain why a considerable proportion are intending to leave their current residency. More support from the government regarding residents’ salaries, workload and working environment may help improve their job satisfaction and retention, ensuring that China will have a pool of well-trained and engaged psychiatrists for the future.

Keywords: China, Psychiatry residents, Socio-demographic characteristics, Satisfaction, Workforce, intention to quit

Received: 03 Sep 2018; Accepted: 11 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Fotios C. Papadopoulos, Uppsala University, Sweden

Reviewed by:

Costin Roventa, Spitalul Clinic Colentina, Romania
Claudia Reardon, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Jiang, Zhou, Hu, Rakofsky, Liu, Wu, Zhong, Liu and Tang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Yuanli Liu, Public Health School, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100730, Beijing Municipality, China,
MD, PhD. Yi-lang Tang, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, 30322, Georgia, United States,