Physician researcher says resident programs lack work-life balance support

Even though more physicians are becoming parents during their residency, few resident training programs have formal measures in place to support parents beyond the immediate birth of their children, according to a study from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia.

The study was lead by Laura Morris, MD, a primary care physician at MU Health Care's Family Medicine-Callaway Clinic in Fulton, Mo., and an assistant professor of clinical family and community medicine at the MU School of Medicine.

Dr. Morris and a team of researchers conducted interviews with parenting family medicine residents and used consensus coding to identify themes in the data.

Many of those interviewed describes negative residency ecperiences, citing issues such as alternating working days and nights, uncertainty about accessing sick leave and guilt over not being able to support their spouse more.

"Residents with children are juggling multiple roles as medical trainees, physicians and parents," said Dr. Morris. "Residency is a time of competing demands as trainees attempt to balance work roles as learners and clinicians with personal roles as parents and partners. These conflicts can cause both positive and negative outcomes on their families and residency experiences."

Given the findings, Dr. Morris suggested residency programs consider including well-publicized parental leave policies for both men and women, flexible scheduling, on-site daycare and peer-to-peer support services.



More articles on work-life balance:
Poll finds healthcare employees report similar workplace happiness as other industries, but feel less valued
5 thoughts from ExtendMed CEO Amy Ravi
athenahealth's Jonathan Bush: 'I have no work-life balance' 

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