'Til Conflicting Work Schedules Do Us Part

Dual-physician pairing bad combo for marriage

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A marriage between two surgeons faces more challenges than those of surgeons married to a partner who works in a non-related field or stays at home.

More women are now surgeons and physicians than ever before, making for more dual-career marriages. A new study looked the married lives of surgeons paired with other surgeons, non-surgeon physicans and spouses who stay at home or work in a different profession.

The results? Surgeons in dual-physician relationships experienced more career conflicts and work-home conflicts and were more likely to suffer depressive symptoms and decreased mental quality of life than surgeons whose partners stayed at home or worked in an unrelated profession.

The solution?


"Healthcare organizations should consider coordinated schedules, daycare in the workplace, adjusted timelines for promotion and tenure, and planning for spousal employment during recruitment," said Liselotte N. Dyrbye, MD, MHPE, FACP, lead author of the study and associate professor of Medicine and consultant of the Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, MN.      

A total of 7,905 of 24,922 American College of Surgeons (ACS) members complied with the study's survey.

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Review Date: 
November 30, 2010
Last Updated:
December 1, 2010