The professional status of medical scientists in Australia: a nationwide survey of medical scientists, other health professionals and the general public

Louise McGregor, Helen Moriarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the professional status of medical scientists in Australia as perceived by the medical scientists themselves as well as selected groups outside the profession. These groups included the general public, and members of the health occupations medicine, nursing, radiography and physiotherapy. A total of 683 questionnaires were evaluated. Scales for occupational satisfaction and perceived professional status of medical scientists were composed and a relationship between the two variables was established. Forty six percent of medical scientists were found to have low perceived professional status while 28% were found to have low occupational satisfaction. By investigating various indicators of professional status it was established that medical scientists perceive themselves and/or their occupation to have low recognition, respect, professional autonomy and pay, weak power base, lack of opportunities to advance and of resources for continuing education and/or research. Results from the general public and selected occupations samples confirmed that recognition of medical scientists was low, with only 3% and 11% respectively aware that "medical scientist'' conduct testing on blood, body fluids and tissues. "Pathologists" were believed to perform that work by 19% of the general public sample (n=58) and 48% of the health occupation sample (n=122).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-155
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Medical Science
Volume24
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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