Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate factors contributing to job satisfaction at different career stages, among private practice physiotherapists in Australia.

Design: Qualitative case study design utilising focus groups.

Participants: Sixteen participants allocated to 3 focus groups: new graduates (n = 6), post graduates (n = 5) and practice owners (n = 5).

Main outcome measures: Focus groups were transcribed verbatim and a thematic analysis was undertaken to determine themes and subthemes from each focus group.

Results: The key themes identified within each focus group included the role of peer support and mentoring, professional development, professional relationships, new graduate employment issues and career pathways within private practice. In particular, issues surrounding the new graduate experience in private practice were explored, with all groups noting lack of support and financial pressures were of concern.

Conclusions: Findings demonstrated that new graduates are underprepared to work in private practice and modifications to the delivery of peer support, mentoring and professional development is required. Key recommendations include physiotherapy undergraduate program reform to reflect industry requirements in private practice, an increase in private practice clinical placement numbers, as well as streamlining the physiotherapy profession to improve career development pathways.

Keywords

job satisfaction, physiotherapists, private practice, new graduate

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