• Primary care;
  • secondary care;
  • private health care;
  • physician well-being;
  • psychosocial factors


To examine the well-being differences among physicians working in different health care sectors and to test whether psychosocial stressors account for these differences. The well-being indicators used were psychological distress, self-rated health, and work ability.

Data Sources/Study Setting

A total of 2,841 randomly selected Finnish physicians (response rate 57 percent) returned the postal questionnaire, of which 2,047 (1,241 women) fulfilled all the participant criteria.

Study Design

This is a cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Principal Findings

General practitioners and medical specialists experienced lower well-being than private physicians and this difference was partly explained by differences in psychosocial stressors.


General practitioners and medical specialists report more problems in well-being than private physicians. It is of particular importance to be aware of the sector-specific difficulties in work environments.