We Have Much in Common: The Similar Inter-generational Work Preferences and Career Satisfaction Among Practicing Radiologists

Authors: Andrew K. Moriarity, MD, Manuel L. Brown, MD, Lonni R. Schultz, PhD

There are many reported generational differences regarding workplace motivators, but these have not been previously studied in radiologists. The aim of this study was to assess for generational differences in workplace satisfaction and desired workplace characteristics among practicing radiologists.

An electronic survey distributed to ACR, Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments, and Association of Program Directors in Radiology members generated 1,577 responses from baby boom (BG) and generation X (GX) radiologists in active practice. Nineteen workplace characteristics and their associations with workplace satisfaction were tested in a univariate analysis using χ2 tests and in a multiple logistic regression model to test for associations with satisfaction.

Workplace satisfaction among BG and GX radiologists was 78% and 80%, respectively. Both generations reported higher satisfaction if they were optimistic about the future of radiology (87% of BG vs 85% of GX radiologists), believed the difference in the desired versus expected age of retirement was narrow (1.5 ± 3.3 years for BG radiologists vs 3.0 ± 4.1 years for GX radiologists), felt that social interactions in the workplace were important (81% of BG vs 83% of GX radiologists), and believed that professionalism in their peers was important (79% of BG vs 82% of GX radiologists). BG radiologists were more satisfied if they valued staff diversity, while GX radiologists were more satisfied if they felt that job security and the amount of compensation were important. There was no significant association of satisfaction with generation, gender, practice setting, or additional administrative work.

Workplace satisfaction among practicing radiologists remains high but has decreased compared with prior surveys. The two dominant generations of practicing radiologists have similar workplace satisfaction rates and desired workplace characteristics.