Domestic workload decreases career satisfaction among physician mothers


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new study that examined the association between increased domestic workload and career dissatisfaction among physician mothers has found that for some, increased domestic workload is linked with greater career dissatisfaction. 

The study surveyed 1,712 physician mothers from the Physician Moms Group Facebook page; 1,250 (73.0%) from non-procedural specialties and 462 (27.0%) from procedural specialties. 

It found that overall, physician mothers reported having sole responsibility for most domestic tasks compared with their partner, including routine childcare plans, back-up or emergency childcare plans and cooking. 

Among proceduralists, those with primarily responsibility for five or more domestic tasks were significantly more likely to have a desire to change careers when compared with those who perform less than five domestic tasks. The association between increased primary domestic responsibility and desire to switch to a less demanding career or specialty was conserved when a sub-group analysis was performed for surgical specialties. The association was not present among non-procedural physician mothers. 

Writing in JAMA Surgery, the authors said, "more equitable distribution and/or outsourcing of domestic tasks should be considered to sustain physician mothers in procedural and surgical specialties."