Job satisfaction among 'migrant dentists' in Australia: implications for dentist migration and workforce policy

M. Balasubramanian, A. J. Spencer, S. D. Short, K. Watkins, S. Chrisopoulos, D. S. Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background Migrants occupy a significant proportion of the dental workforce in Australia. The objectives of this study were to assess the level of job satisfaction of employed migrant dentists in Australia, and to examine the association between various migrant dentist characteristics and job satisfaction. Methods All migrant dentists resident in Australia were surveyed using a five-point Likert scale that measured specific aspects of job, career and satisfaction with area and type of practice. Results A total of 1022 migrant dentists responded to this study; 974 (95.4%) were employed. Responses for all scales were skewed towards strongly agree (scores ≥4). The overall scale varied by age group, marital status, years since arrival to Australia and specialist qualification (chi-square, p < 0.05). In a multivariate logistic regression model, there was a trend towards greater satisfaction amongst older age groups. Dentists who migrated through the examination pathway (mainly from low- and middle-income countries) had a lower probability of being satisfied with the area and type of practice (OR = 0.71; 0.51-0.98), compared with direct-entry migrant dentists (from high-income countries). Conclusions The high level of job satisfaction of migrant dentists reflects well on their work-related experiences in Australia. The study offers policy suggestions towards support for younger dentists and examination pathway migrants, so they have appropriate skills and standards to fit the Australian health care environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Dental Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • health workforce
  • health policy
  • job satisfaction
  • migrant dentists
  • settlement issues
  • dental workforce


Dive into the research topics of 'Job satisfaction among 'migrant dentists' in Australia: implications for dentist migration and workforce policy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this