Career and parenting satisfaction among medical students, residents and physician teachers at a Canadian medical school

Cujec, Bibiana; Oancia, Tammy; Bohm, Clara; Johnson, David
March 2000
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;3/07/2000, Vol. 162 Issue 5, p637
Academic Journal
AbstractBackground: Studies of career and parenting satisfaction have focused separately on medical students, residents and practising physicians. The objective of this study was to compare satisfaction across a spectrum of stages of medical career.Methods: A survey of incoming medical students, current medical students, residents and physician teachers at the University of Saskatchewan was conducted in the spring of 1997. Response rates were 77% (43/56), 81% (177/218), 65% (134/206) and 39% (215/554) respectively. Factors assessed in the stepwise regression analysis were the effect of sex, parenting and level of training on the likelihood of recommending parenting to medical students or residents, and on parenting dissatisfaction, job dissatisfaction, career dissatisfaction and the importance of flexibility within the college program to accommodate family obligations.Results: More male than female physician teachers had partners (92% v. 81%, p < 0.01) and were parents (94% v. 72%, p < 0.01). Female physician teachers spent equal hours per week at work compared with their male counterparts (mean 52 and 58 hours respectively) and more than double the weekly time on family and household work (36 v. 14 hours, p < 0.01). Physician teachers were the most likely respondents to recommend parenting to residents and their peers. Residents were the most dissatisfied with their parenting time. At all career stages women were less likely than men to recommend parenting, were more dissatisfied with the amount of time spent as parents and were more likely to regard flexibility within the college program as beneficial. There were no sex-related differences in job dissatisfaction and career dissatisfaction. However, married women were more dissatisfied with their jobs than were married men. Job dissatisfaction was greatest among medical students, and career dissatisfaction was greatest among residents.Interpretation: The optimal timing of parenthood appears to be upon completion...


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