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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011 Apr;127(4):1713-9. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318208d1b3.

Plastic surgeons' satisfaction with work-life balance: results from a national survey.

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  • 1Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, The University of Michigan Medical Center, San Francisco, Calif, USA.



Plastic surgery demographics are transforming, with a greater proportion of women and younger physicians who desire balance between their career and personal lives compared with previous generations. The authors' purpose was to describe the patterns and correlates of satisfaction with work-life balance among U.S. plastic surgeons.


A self-administered survey was mailed to a random sample of American Society of Plastic Surgeons members (n = 708; 71 percent response rate). The primary outcome was satisfaction with work-life balance. Independent variables consisted of surgeon sociodemographic and professional characteristics. Logistic regression was used to evaluate correlates of satisfaction with work-life balance.


Overall, over three-fourths of respondents were satisfied with their career; however, only half were satisfied with their time management between career and personal responsibilities. Factors independently associated with diminished satisfaction with work-life balance were being female (odds ratio = 0.63; 95 percent CI, 0.42 to 0.95), working more than 60 hours per week (versus < 60 hours per week; odds ratio = 0.44; 95 percent CI, 0.28 to 0.72), having emergency room call responsibilities (versus no emergency room call, odds ratio = 0.42; 95 percent CI, 0.27 to 0.67), and having a primarily reconstructive practice (versus primarily aesthetic practice; odds ratio = 0.53; 95 percent CI, 0.30 to 0.93).


While generational differences were minimal, surgeons who were female, worked longer hours, and had emergency room call responsibilities and primarily reconstructive practices were significantly less satisfied with their work-life balance.

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