Diversity & Equality in Health and Care Open Access

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Stress, Depression and Job Satisfaction among Physicians in Iraq

Akiko Kamimura, Jason Chen, Maziar M Nourian, Mary Stoddard and Ali Al-Sarray

Background: Many physicians have left Iraq due to security concerns or were killed because of war or political conflicts in the last several decades. Despite the challenges that physicians experience in Iraq and the importance of the issue of physician stress and depression globally, little is known about stress and depression related to job satisfaction and work environments among physicians in Iraq. The purpose of this study is to elucidate factors that may improve the current challenges experienced by physicians in Iraq. Methods: Data were collected for two months from October to December 2017 from physicians practicing in Iraq using an online survey. Results: Safety and work environments are major concerns among physicians in Iraq. Lower job satisfaction is associated with higher levels of stress and depression. The following factors are also related to higher levels of stress or depression: lower satisfaction with resources, fewer work hours and sleep problems. Conclusion: Iraq faces a potentially crippling brain drain situation since 87.5% of the study participants expressed interest in leaving Iraq and are also concerned with safety in the workplace. Physician migration from developing to developed countries is a global phenomenon. But in the case of Iraq, since the percentage of leaving or intending to leave Iraq is very high, it is important to develop strategies to reduce push factors and to increase physician retention