Surgeons married to physicians may face greater work/life challenges

December 10, 2010

Surgeons married to physicians appear to face more challenges in balancing their personal and professional lives than do surgeons whose partners work in a non-physician field or stay at home, according to a recent study.

Surgeons married to physicians appear to face more challenges in balancing their personal and professional lives than do surgeons whose partners work in a non-physician field or stay at home, according to a recent study.

The study focused on how surgeons manage in being partnered with other surgeons, with other non-surgical physicians, with non-physicians, or with spouses who stay at home. The researchers wanted to learn how surgeons in dual-physician relationships differ from other surgeons whose partners are not physicians in their demographics, practice characteristics, family lives, distress (that is, burnout, depression, and quality of life), and job satisfaction.

Surgeons in dual-physician relationships had a greater prevalence of career and work-home conflicts. Surgeons partnered with surgeons faced greater challenges in career and work-home conflicts than surgeons partnered with non-surgeon physicians. Finally, surgeons in dual-physician relationships were more likely to express depressive symptoms as well as low mental quality of life than surgeons whose partners stayed home.