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Academic Ob-Gyns Challenged to Balance Demands, Desires

One-third report too much time spent on patient care; over half say too little time for research

FRIDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Academic obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) face challenges relating to the balance between patient care and academic demands, according to a study published online Oct. 7 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Linda Brubaker, M.D., from Loyola University Chicago, and colleagues used pooled cohort data for 329 ob-gyns across 14 U.S. institutions to describe the perceptions of academic ob-gyns.

The researchers found that 72.2 percent of respondents reported satisfaction with work-related autonomy and 81.9 percent reported a sense of accomplishment in their day-to-day activities, including understanding how those activities fit into their medical school's mission (68.4 percent). Ob-gyn respondents reported working 59.4 hours on average each week, with the mean percentage of effort varying: patient care (54.8 percent), teaching (18.1 percent), research (17.0 percent), and administration (15 percent). More than one-third (35.1 percent) reported that too much of their time and effort was spent on patient care, while more than half (59.5 percent) reported that too little of their time and effort was spent on research or teaching (33.3 percent). A substantial proportion reported seriously planning (13.4 percent) or being undecided (18.8 percent) about leaving their medical school in the next one to two years.

"Academic obstetrics and gynecology departments face challenges balancing faculty members' academic desires and clinical demands," the authors write.

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