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Pediatricians Struggle to Find Work-Life Balance Early in Career

Good health, peer support, patient care resources tied to higher satisfaction

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THURSDAY, March 31, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Early-career pediatricians commonly struggle with work-life balance, according to a study published online March 28 in Pediatrics.

Amy J. Starmer, M.D., M.P.H., from Boston Children's Hospital, and colleagues analyzed 2013 survey data of 840 pediatricians who graduated residency between 2002 and 2004. The authors sought to assess work-life balance and satisfaction.

The researchers found that a majority reported career (83 percent) and life (71 percent) satisfaction. Frequency of current appropriate work-life balance (43 percent) or burnout (30 percent) was lower. Excellent/very good health, having support from physician colleagues, and adequate resources for patient care were all associated with a lower prevalence of burnout and a higher likelihood of work-life balance and career and life satisfaction, in multivariate modeling. Females had a lower likelihood of balance and career satisfaction, but did not show a difference in burnout or life satisfaction.

"Efforts to minimize these outcomes should focus on encouragement of modifiable factors, including health supervision, peer support, and ensuring sufficient patient care resources," the authors write.

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