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Journal of the Academy of Hospital Administration

How to Measure Doctors Motivational Needs?
Issues in Human Resource Management

Author(s): S.M. Garg*, N.K. Parmar**, Rajvir Bhalwar***, Kalpana Srivastava****

Vol. 13, No. 2 (2001-07 - 2001-12)


Productivity and quality of service in an organization entirely depends on its ability to manage the human resource. How to get 'people' involved and motivated for excellence at work? The key to effective work performance is in understanding of Human Motivation based on needs. The present paper objectively discusses various issues related with motivational needs of medical professionals. Available psychological tools can be used and are recommended for organisational diagnosis.

Keywords : Motivation, Needs assessment, Human Resource Management


Issues in human resource management are organisation specific. All organizations operate within an internal and external environment. 'Technology' provides resources, 'Structure' defines the formal relationship of people in organization and 'Environment' both internal and external, influence the attitude of people1

Doctors of Armed Forces Medical services perform dual role as medical professional as well as soldier in uniform. Rapid technological advances, unique hierarchical structure, and changing internal and external socioeconomic environment contributes to low job satisfaction and resultant attitude can frustrate any motivational initiatives based on subjective assessment2. It is essential to identify "felt needs" of doctors and its strength, for skillful use of management tools for improving motivational level3. Management techniques can then be applied in all areas of Human resource functions, viz recruitment; induction, retention, welfare, appraisal, training, skill development for appropriate technology, attitudinal-orientation, compensation and retirement4.

Materials and Methods

This study is based on 150 doctors, 50 each from Specialists group, Post graduate trainees and General Duty Medical officers (GDMOs) posted in Pune-Kirkee complex who were administered a structured psychological questionnaire (Motivation Analysis test) developed by Cattel and Horn 5. The period of study was one year.

Scores were obtained by ipsatized scoring system plotted on answer sheets with the help of scoring keys6. Dynamic structured motivation profile was constructed. STEN scoring range from 1 to 10 was used where ipsatized scale of 1-5 is for low level of motivation, and score range of 6-10 is interpreted as high level of motivation. The levels of motivation were assessed in five areas of dynamic traits and interpreted with the help of clinical psychologist. The five attributes measured were, Interest in career, Job satisfaction, Need for achievement, Comfort needs satisfaction level, Need levels for Competence and recognition.

Difference in level of motivation amongst doctors of three categories were statistically analysed using Chi square test. Ordinal data was further analysed by applying non parametric test namely Kruskel Wallis test based on median7.


The comparative motivational levels, based on total motivation score obtained by doctors in all three groups viz specialist, non specialist and Post graduate trainee, in all five attributes of motivation studied are given in tables 1-5.

Table - 1: Comparative analysis of motivation scores on career interest among doctors

Group Range of Scores
No. of responses
Specialist 22 (44) 28 (56) 50 (100)
Non Specialist 48 (96) 2 (4) 50 (100)
P G Trainee 26 (52) 24 (48) 50 (100)
Total 96 (64) 54 (36) 150 (100)

(Figure in parentheses indicate percentage)
x2 value = 34.01 (df = 2) p < 0.01

Table - 2: Comparative analysis of motivation scores on need for comfort among doctors

Group Range of Scores
/No. of responses
Specialist 27 (54) 23 (46) 50 (100)
Non Specialist 2 (4) 48 (96) 50 (100)
P G Trainee 4(8) 46 (92) 50 (100)
Total 33 (22) 117(78) 150 (100)

(Figure in parentheses indicate percentage)
x2 value = 49.14 (df = 2) p < 0.01

Table - 3: Comparative analysis of motivation scores on need for competence and knowledge among doctors

Group Range of Scores
/No. of responses
Specialist 18 (36) 32 (64) 50 (100)
Non Specialist 31 (62) 19 (38) 50 (100)
P G Trainee 43 (86) 7 (14) 50 (100)
Total 92(61.3) 58(38.7) 150 (100)

(Figure in parentheses indicate percentage),
x2 value = 24.25 (df = 2) p < 0.01

Table - 4: Comparative analysis of motivation scores on need for achievement among doctors

Group Range of Scores
/No. of responses
Specialist 12(24) 38(76) 50 (100)
Non Specialist 46 (92) 4 (8) 50 (100)
P G Trainee 12(24) 38(76) 50 (100)
Total 70(46.6) 80(53.4) 150 (100)

(Figure in parentheses indicate percentage), x2 value = 61.9 (df = 2) p < 0.01

Table - 5

Comparative analysis of motivation scores on job satisfaction and self esteem among doctors

Group Range of Scores
No. of responses
Specialist 14 (28) 36 (72) 50 (100)
Non Specialist 48 (96) 2 (4) 50 (100)
P G Trainee 40(80) 10(20) 50 (100)
Total 102(68) 48(32) 150 (100)

(Figure in parentheses indicate percentage)
x2 value = 57.95 (df = 2) p < 0.01

The result showed that overall 64% of doctors had low level of motivation in career, and as high as 96% of non specialist doctors were having low interest in career. On the other hand specialist doctors showed significantly (p<.01) high level of motivation towards career (Table 1). Similarly higher proportion (92%) of doctors in post graduate trainee and non specialist group (96%) were having unmet comfort needs (Table 2) as compared to comfort needs of specialist group (54%).

These results were on higher side as compared to other study results conducted among Defence Officers which reported 48.9% officers were dissatisfied with their career and almost 67.5% felt that their salaries/perks are low8. Another significant finding was difference in need for competence and knowledge among specialist and PG trainee [Table 3]. It was low among PG trainee group (86%) and high among specialists (64%). In spite of the fact that study was conducted in Pune-Kirkee teaching complex, the low level of motivation among PG trainee officers for knowledge and competence was not in congruence with their high level of motivation for need for achievement [Table 4]. An earlier study9 has shown that need for achievement is positively related to high level of aspiration and training needs. Overall job satisfaction and self- esteem was also found low among 68% doctors [Table 5].


The overall results have highlighted low level of motivation in career, unmet comfort needs, and low self-esteem among doctors. Oommens10 in his study on analysis of occupational role structure of "Doctors and Nurses" concluded that self-esteem and pride in job depends upon social and professional standard of doctors in an organization. To create a motivating environment, it is therefore imperative to dovetail in to the organization structure and functioning an objective system to measure and meet the motivational needs of doctors which may vary among specialists and nonspecialists during their career progression. Use of various psychological tools which are available is also recommended in various areas of Human Resource Management.


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* RPO, DG-2 Group, DGAFMS, MBlock, New Delhi
**Professor & HOD, Department of Hospital Administration, AFMC, Pune
*** OC, SHO, Jabalpur
**** Scientist-C, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry AFMC, Pune

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