Appreciation felt by doctors: Is there any difference between doctors educated in Finland and those from outside the EEA?
Julkaistu 01.06.2012 00.01
The medical profession is traditionally highly respected in Finland. More and more doctors come to Finland from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The immigrant doctors have to adapt to a different society and health care system, and they have to fulfil the expectations placed on them as doctors. In this survey, the appreciation felt by Finnish doctors and doctors from outside the EEA was studied and compared.
The question about appreciation at work was presented to Finnish doctors in the survey Physician 2008, in which the study population consisted of 16 192 physicians of working age; the sample was 7 758 physicians and the number of respondents was 4 167 (54%). The same question was presented to doctors from outside the EEA in 2009 in a survey that consisted of all 686 doctors who participated in the licensing examinations in 1994–2008. The questionnaire was sent to 656 doctors whose addresses were available and the number of respondents was 344 (52%). In the question concerning appreciation at work there were 13 sources of appreciation listed and a five-point scale was used. Conclusions were based on proportions of different choices and cross tabulations.
Both the Finnish doctors and the doctors from outside the EEA felt that they received the greatest appreciation for their work from their families and themselves, as well as from patients and nursing personnel. The lowest appreciation was experienced from decision-makers, media, the general public, and the Finnish Medical Association. However, the appreciation that the Finnish doctors felt they received from the general public was statistically significantly higher than that experienced by the doctors from outside the EEA. In both groups men experienced more appreciation from most sources than women.
Finnish doctors and doctors from outside the EEA felt they received more appreciation from their nearest family and working partners than from decision-makers or media. As for the latter, the option “difficult to say” was more often chosen. The low appreciation that the immigrant doctors felt they received from the general public possibly reflects their negative experiences in Finnish society. However, their experiences of appreciation from their working community show good integration in working life.
University of Tampere Medical School
Irma Virjo, Teppo Heikkilä, Harri Hyppölä, Santero Kujala, Hannu Halila, Jukka Vänskä, Kari Mattila
Finnish Medical Journal 2012;67:1949–54
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