A questionnaire was sent to all general practitioners at municipal health centres in Oslo in 1987. 74% of the doctors participated in the study, 38 women and 41 men. The results show that the major source of stress at work was high work load. The results also point to important gender differences. Compared with their male colleagues, the female general practitioners experienced higher job strain. They also found less opportunity to influence their working conditions. Female doctors more often experienced psychosomatic disorders and periods of sick leave. The results are discussed in relation to differences in patient selection, role strain and coping style.