BACKGROUND: During the last two decades, the Iraqi human resources for health was exposed to an unprecedented turnover of trained and experienced medical professionals. This study aimed to explore prominent factors affecting turnover intentions among Iraqi doctors.
METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional multicentre study was carried out among 576 doctors across 20 hospitals in Iraq using multistage sampling technique. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire, which included socio-demographic information, work characteristics, the 10-item Warr-Cook-Wall job satisfaction scale, and one question on turnover intention. Descriptive and bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify significant factors affecting turnover intentions.
RESULTS: More than one half of Iraqi doctors (55.2%) were actively seeking alternative employment. Factors associated with turnover intentions among doctors were low job satisfaction score (odds ratio (OR) = 0.97; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.95, 0.99), aged 40 years old or less (OR = 2.9; 95% CI: 1.74, 4.75), being male (OR = 4.2; 95% CI: 2.54, 7.03), being single (OR = 5.0; 95% CI: 2.61, 9.75), being threatened (OR = 3.5; 95% CI: 1.80, 6.69), internally displaced (OR = 3.1; 95% CI: 1.43, 6.57), having a perception of unsafe medical practice (OR = 4.1; 95% CI: 1.86, 9.21), working more than 40 h per week, (OR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.27, 4.03), disagreement with the way manager handles staff (OR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.19, 4.03), being non-specialist, (OR = 3.9, 95% CI: 2.08, 7.13), and being employed in the government sector only (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.09, 3.82).
CONCLUSION: The high-turnover intention among Iraqi doctors is significantly associated with working and security conditions. An urgent and effective strategy is required to prevent doctors' exodus.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.