BACKGROUND : Job satisfaction is a vital contributor to occupational well-being and may be instrumental in mitigating stress and
the adverse effects thereof. This is particularly pertinent in anaesthesiology, which is an inherently stressful field. There are myriad
factors, including personality traits, shown to influence job satisfaction. Personality testing is conducted in many industries prior
to recruitment; however, this is not the case in medicine. Currently the prevailing tool for the aforementioned purpose is the Big
Five Inventory based on the well-described Five Factor Model of personality.
METHODS : A cross-sectional survey was utilised with electronic questionnaires distributed to all 1 509 members of the South
African Society of Anaesthesiologists in 2016. Specialists, registrars, diploma-qualified and full-time general practitioner
anaesthetists working in both the private and public sectors were included.
RESULTS : A response rate of 31% was achieved. Statistical analysis demonstrated that Neuroticism was the strongest and
most consistent negative correlate of job satisfaction, while Agreeableness was positively associated with job satisfaction.
Encouragingly, a mean of 65.6% was recorded for job satisfaction using a visual analogue scale. Socio-demographic variables
positively associated with job satisfaction included increasing age, male gender, private practice and specialist/diploma
CONCLUSIONS : Information gleaned from this study may prove useful in vocational counselling with the aim of improving
occupational well-being, thereby reducing burnout and maladaptive behaviour among South African anaesthetists.