In a context of fast and deep changes in hospital organization, how do salaried physicians (public hospitals and private clinics) experience their work situation? What words do they use to express their feelings of satisfaction and dissatisfaction in terms of their professional practice? An on-line survey (SESMAT, Health and satisfaction of physicians at work) allowed us to collect in 2007-2008 the free answers of 2,555 physicians concerning what they like in their profession and what is hard for them. Lexicometric analysis computer software was used to analyse the distribution of lexical forms in this corpus. We observed, as regards “what they like most”, that the physicians who answered spontaneously highlighted the relational aspects and medical contents of their profession. When asked about the most difficult aspects, they most frequently mentioned working conditions, under-staffing, lack of time (too much spent on red tape and too little with patients), of deficient premises and resources (beds) – as well as insufficient recognition from management, colleagues, or patients (aggressiveness…). Last, administrative constraints and relational problems with authorities are at the heart of the difficulties experienced by physicians working in hospitals.
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