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Predictors of work-life balance: Results from the Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study (PLACES)

Mary Pat Frintner, MSPH1 and Amy Starmer, MD, MPH2    1Research, American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove, United States; 2 Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, United States  

Presented at the May 2013 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.

Background: Work-life balance (WLB) is an important consideration for young pediatricians entering the workforce.  Little has been reported about which factors contribute to a perception of balanced work and personal responsibilities for early career pediatricians.  

Objective: Explore personal and work factors related to perceived WLB.  

Methods: We conducted a cross sectional study as part of the AAP longitudinal study, PLACES, which tracks young pediatricians’ career experiences and recruited pediatricians into two cohorts: 1) recent residency graduates (1-3 years post-residency); and 2) early career pediatricians (8-10 years post-residency).  Logistic regression examined two measures of WLB: 1) Balanced Workload = report comfortable amount of work; and 2) Minimal Stress = report no or little stress in balancing work and personal responsibilities. Predictors assessed included both personal and work factors (Table 1).  

Results: 93% of recruited subjects completed the survey (n=1786).  The majority of subjects reported they have a Balanced Workload (62%) and Minimal Stress (53%).  In multivariate analyses, calm/busy but reasonable work setting and working part-time were the strongest predictors of Balanced Workload.  Not having children, work setting, and advance notice of schedule were the strongest predictors of Minimal Stress (Table 1).  

Table 1: Predictors of Balanced Workload and Minimal Stress*

 

aOR, 95% CI

 

Balanced Workload

Minimal Stress

Personal

 

 

Cohort-Recent grads

 

1.55, 1.19-2.01

1.15, 0.90-1.47

Men

1.51, 1.17-1.95

1.54, 1.21-1.98

No children

1.38, 1.03-1.85

2.36, 1.77-3.13

IMG

1.49, 1.05-2.11

1.45, 1.04-2.02

 

 

 

Work

 

 

Calm/busy but reasonable work setting

3.70, 2.97-4.62

2.65, 2.15-3.27

Part-time

3.32, 2.39-4.60

1.30, 0.98-1.72

Schedule known 1+ month in advance

1.78, 1.20-2.62

2.08, 1.42-3.06

Never on call

1.54, 1.18-2.02

1.41, 1.10-1.81

Generalist

1.31, 1.02-1.68

1.41, 1.11-1.79

*Included in models but not significant: race, marriage, in training

 


Conclusion:  The majority of young pediatricians report WLB, particularly men, those without children, and IMGs.  Modifiable work factors that might help increase WLB include less busy work settings, advance notice of schedules, working as a general pediatrician, and not being on call. 
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