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Plastic Surgeons' Satisfaction with Work–Life Balance: Results from a National Survey

Streu, Rachel M.D., M.S.; McGrath, Mary H. M.D., M.P.H.; Gay, Ashley B.A.; Salem, Barbara M.S.W., M.S.; Abrahamse, Paul M.S.; Alderman, Amy K. M.D., M.P.H.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2011 - Volume 127 - Issue 4 - p 1713-1719
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318208d1b3
Special Topics: Special Topics
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Background: Plastic surgery demographics are transforming, with a greater proportion of women and younger physicians who desire balance between their career and personal lives compared with previous generations. The authors' purpose was to describe the patterns and correlates of satisfaction with work–life balance among U.S. plastic surgeons.

Methods: A self-administered survey was mailed to a random sample of American Society of Plastic Surgeons members (n = 708; 71 percent response rate). The primary outcome was satisfaction with work–life balance. Independent variables consisted of surgeon sociodemographic and professional characteristics. Logistic regression was used to evaluate correlates of satisfaction with work–life balance.

Results: Overall, over three-fourths of respondents were satisfied with their career; however, only half were satisfied with their time management between career and personal responsibilities. Factors independently associated with diminished satisfaction with work–life balance were being female (odds ratio = 0.63; 95 percent CI, 0.42 to 0.95), working more than 60 hours per week (versus < 60 hours per week; odds ratio = 0.44; 95 percent CI, 0.28 to 0.72), having emergency room call responsibilities (versus no emergency room call, odds ratio = 0.42; 95 percent CI, 0.27 to 0.67), and having a primarily reconstructive practice (versus primarily aesthetic practice; odds ratio = 0.53; 95 percent CI, 0.30 to 0.93).

Conclusions: While generational differences were minimal, surgeons who were female, worked longer hours, and had emergency room call responsibilities and primarily reconstructive practices were significantly less satisfied with their work–life balance.

Ann Arbor, Mich.; and San Francisco, Calif.

From the Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, The University of Michigan Medical Center; Department of General Surgery, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital; Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of California, San Francisco; and Division of General Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan.

Received for publication February 13, 2010; accepted August 4, 2010.

Presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress, in Chicago, Illinois, October 15, 2009.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Amy K. Alderman, M.D., M.P.H., Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Michigan, 2130 Taubman Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48109-0340, aalder@umich.edu

©2011American Society of Plastic Surgeons