Background: Physicians work considerably longer hours and are less satisfied with work-life balance than U.S. workers in other fields. There is, however, minimal data on physicians' parental satisfaction. Methods: To evaluate differences in parental satisfaction among physicians and workers in other fields, we surveyed U.S. physicians as well as a probability-based sample of the general U.S. working population between August 2014-October 2014. Parental satisfaction and the perceived impact of career on relationships with children were evaluated. Results: Among 6880 responding physicians (cooperation rate 19.2 %), 5582 (81.1 %) had children. Overall, physicians were satisfied in their relationships with their children, with 4782 (85.9 %) indicating that they were either very satisfied [n = 2738; (49.2 %)] or satisfied [n = 2044 (36.7 %)]. In contrast, less than half believed their career had made either a major [n = 1212; (21.8 %)] or minor positive [n = 1260; (22.7 %)] impact on their relationship with their children, with a slightly larger proportion indicating a major (n = 2071 [37.2 %]) or minor (n = 501 [9 %]) negative impact. Women physicians were less likely to believe their career had made a positive impact as were younger physicians. Hours worked/week inversely correlated with the belief that career had made a positive impact on relationships with children. Both men (OR: 2.75; p < 0.0001) and women (OR: 4.33; p < 0.0001) physicians were significantly more likely to report that their career had a negative impact on relationships with their children than the sex-matched U.S. working population. Conclusions: U.S. physicians report generally high satisfaction in their relationships with their children. Despite their high satisfaction, physicians have a more negative perception of the impact of their career on relationships with their children than U.S. workers in general.
- Work-life integration
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