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Gender Differences in Pediatricians’ Work-Life Balance Attitudes and Satisfaction: Results from the Periodic Survey

Blake Sisk1 and Liz Gottschlich1

1Research, American Academy of Pediatrics, Itasca, IL, United States.

Presented at the 2019 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.

Background: Even as work-life balance is an increasingly discussed topic among pediatricians, little is known about gender differences in pediatricians’ work-life balance attitudes and satisfaction.

Objective: To examine gender differences in work-life balance attitudes and satisfaction among pediatricians.

Methods: Data from pooled nationally representative surveys of American Academy of Pediatrics post-residency, US-based members in 2012 (n=901; response rate=63%) and 2017 (n=715; response rate=50%). Surveys collected information on stress with balancing work and personal responsibilities (4-point Likert scale, moderately/very stressed vs not at all/a little stressed), satisfaction with time available to spend on personal activities (5-point scale, very satisfied/satisfied vs otherwise), attitudes toward the amount of time spent working (3-point scale, a comfortable amount vs too much/too little), and respondent demographic and work characteristics. A Chi-squared test examined descriptive differences by gender and predicted probabilities (PP) from separate multivariable logistic regression models examined the independent effect of gender on a range of work-life attitudes, controlling for survey year, age, setting, area, hours worked per week, subspecialist status, owner/employee status, marital status, and having children under the age of 18 (probabilities generated holding all controls at their sample means).

Results: Descriptive results indicate that men (58%) were significantly more likely than women (51%) to report feeling ‘not at all/a little stressed’ balancing work and personal responsibilities (Figure 1; p<.05). In a multivariable logistic regression model controlling for demographic and work characteristics (Figure 2), this difference remains statistically significant (men: PP=64.7%, 95% CI=59.7-69.6; women: 51.5%, 47.6-55.0). Additional model results indicate that men were more likely than women to report working a ‘comfortable amount’, as well as feeling satisfied with the amount of time available to spend with their spouse/partner, children, and interests/hobbies.

Conclusion: Large shares of male and female pediatricians reported feeling stressed with balancing work and life responsibilities, although men were less likely than women to report feeling stressed. After adjusting for demographic and work characteristics, in significance testing men remained more likely than women to report favorable attitudes toward and satisfaction with work-life balance across a range of outcomes.

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