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Structural changes have led to higher workload and more frequent conflicts among hospital staff, which in turn has been shown to be associated with increased employee turnover.To study the willingness of anaesthetists to change their employment and factors associated with it. Work-related, individual and family-related factors were investigated as potential influences on such willingness.A postal questionnaire was sent to all working Finnish anaesthetists (N=550).The response rate was 60%; 175 (53% of responders) were men. Of the respondents, 31% were willing to consider changing to another physician's job and 43% to a profession other than medicine. The most important correlates for these views were conflicts with superiors (odds ratio 6.1; 95% confidence interval 2.1–17.7) and co-workers (4.2; 1.4–12.2), low job control (2.6; 1.4–4.9), a sense of organizational injustice (2.4; 1.3–4.6), stress (6.5; 2.6–16.3) and job dissatisfaction (4.6; 2.4–8.8).The establishment of respect, trust and genuine dialogue between co-workers and superiors is needed to minimize the risk of loss of members of this occupational group.