Work-Family Balance Within the Medical Profession: An Exploratory Study

Authors

  • Pedro Afonso Clínica Universitária de Psiquiatria e Psicologia Médica. Faculdade de Medicina. Universidade de Lisboa. Lisboa.
  • Olga Vaz Aleixo Unidade de Saúde Familiar Caminhos do Cértoma. Agurapamentos de Centro de Saúde do Baixo Mondego. Pampilhosa.
  • Rute Vaz Aleixo Médica Interna do Ano Comum. Centro Hospitalar de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. Vila Real.
  • Diogo J. F. de Carvalho AESE Business School. Lisboa.
  • José Augusto Simões Faculdade de Ciências Médicas. Universidade da Beira Interior. Covilhã. CINTESIS – Centro de Investigação em Tecnologias e Serviços de Saúde. Porto.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20344/amp.11997

Keywords:

Family, Job Satisfaction, Physicians, Portugal, Work-Life Balance, Work Schedule Tolerance, Workload

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of this study is to characterize and assess work-family balance within the medical profession in Portugal.
Material and Methods: This cross-sectional and exploratory study analyzed a sample of 181 doctors who are members of the Portuguese Catholic Doctors’ Association. A qualitative survey with multiple-choice questions was applied in order to assess socioeconomic and working conditions as well as work-family balance. Descriptive and linear regression analyses were carried out.
Results: Nearly 40% of the surveyed doctors negatively assessed the work-family balance within the private sector. As for the Portuguese National Health System, 73% negatively assessed the work-family balance within the public sector. More than half of those surveyed (56%) worked more hours than what they considered as harmful for their work-family balance and the vast majority was working at the limit or overtime. Data collected enabled us to associate a heavier workload with working in the emergency room, age and men. Moreover, it was observed that working more hours was not linked to having children or being married.
Discussion: In our study, the three measures of work-family balance that the participants considered to be the most important were the possibility of flexible scheduling, part-time work and temporarily reducing working hours (e.g. for family assistance). These aspects may explain the differences found in the assessment of work-family balance between the public and private sector.
Conclusion: Due to the demanding nature of the medical profession, doctors are placed into a particularly risky situation in order to achieve a suitable work-family balance. The results of our study indicate a general dissatisfaction regarding this balance – special in the public sector – which is mainly associated with excessive weekly working hours.

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Author Biography

Pedro Afonso, Clínica Universitária de Psiquiatria e Psicologia Médica. Faculdade de Medicina. Universidade de Lisboa. Lisboa.

AA:ID#11621

Published

2019-11-04

How to Cite

1.
Afonso P, Aleixo OV, Aleixo RV, Carvalho DJF de, Simões JA. Work-Family Balance Within the Medical Profession: An Exploratory Study. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 2019 Nov. 4 [cited 2022 Nov. 30];32(11):697-705. Available from: https://www.actamedicaportuguesa.com/revista/index.php/amp/article/view/11997

Issue

Section

Original