Moms in medicine: Job satisfaction among physician-mothers in obstetrics and gynecology

Cara C. Heuser, Karen J. Gibbins, Christina A. Herrera, Lauren H. Theilen, Calla M. Holmgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Physician satisfaction is linked to positive patient outcomes. Mothers form an increasing fraction of the obstetrics and gynecology (ob/gyn) workforce. OBJECTIVE: Define factors that affect physician satisfaction among ob/gyn physicians who are also mothers. Methods: We constructed and validated a Redcap survey and invited members of online ob/gyn-mom groups to participate. Characteristics of participants' professional and personal lives were evaluated for possible association with the satisfaction outcomes. Comparison testing was performed using Chi-squared test or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables, Student's t-test for parametric variables, and Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test for non-parametric variables. Results: Responses were received from 232 participants. A majority reported being unsatisfied with their time to spend with children (66%), partner (70%), and on personal hobbies/activites (75%). Eighty-percent rate professional morale as very/somewhat positive. Women who rated their morale as very/somewhat positive worked fewer hours per week than women with neutral/negative responses (43.6 vs 49.7, p = 0.01). Women with positive morale were also less likely to work over 50 h/week (39.5% vs 56.8%, p = 0.04). Conclusions: Ob/gyn physician-mothers have high professional morale but are dissatisfied with time for extra-professional activities. Longer clinical hours correlate with dissatisfaction based on several measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Obstetrics
  • parent work
  • physician satisfaction
  • work hours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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