Career satisfaction and work-life balance of specialist orthodontists within the UK/ROI

Key Points

  • This study provides an insight into the career satisfaction and work-life balance of orthodontists in the UK/ROI.

  • The study identified those major factors which significantly affect career satisfaction and work-life balance.

  • Recommendations are made for measures which professional bodies could consider in order to enhance career satisfaction and work-life balance and also to continue to attract people into the profession.

Abstract

Objectives To investigate factors affecting career satisfaction and work-life balance in specialist orthodontists in the UK/ROI.

Design and setting Prospective questionnaire-based study.

Subjects and methods The questionnaire was sent to specialist orthodontists who were members of the British Orthodontic Society.

Results Orthodontists reported high levels of career satisfaction (median score 90/100). Career satisfaction was significantly higher in those who exhibited: i) satisfaction with working hours; ii) satisfaction with the level of control over their working day; iii) ability to manage unexpected home events; and iv) confidence in how readily they managed patient expectations. The work-life balance score was lower than the career satisfaction score but the median score was 75/100. Work-life balance scores were significantly affected by the same four factors, but additionally were higher in those who worked part-time.

Conclusions Orthodontists in this study were highly satisfied with their career and the majority responded that they would choose orthodontics again. Work-life balance scores were lower than career satisfaction scores but still relatively high. It is important for the profession to consider ways of maintaining, or improving, career satisfaction and work-life balance; including maintaining flexibility of working hours and ensuring that all clinicians have ready access to appropriate training courses throughout their careers (for example, management of patient expectations).

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Acknowledgements

Many thanks to all of the orthodontists who took the time to complete the questionnaire and without whom this study would not have been possible. We would also like to thank Dr Dirk Bister and Professor Tim Newton for their advice when developing the questionnaire and Ann Wright (BOS) for distribution of the questionnaire and for her assistance in dealing with our questions.

If any readers wish to have a copy of the questionnaire, please contact the authors directly.

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Correspondence to S. M. Al-Junaid.

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Al-Junaid, S., Hodges, S., Petrie, A. et al. Career satisfaction and work-life balance of specialist orthodontists within the UK/ROI. Br Dent J 223, 53–58 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.585

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