Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Female doctors spend more time than male doctors on parenting, household tasks

Date:
March 3, 2014
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
A new study finds gender differences in parenting and household labor persist among a group of highly motivated physician-researchers in the early stages of their career. The finding could shed light on why female academic physicians in general do not have the same career success as their male colleagues. "We are seeing a growing appreciation of the need to facilitate work-life balance for both men and women, but it is important to recognize how this continues to challenge women more than men in our society," the lead author states.

A new study finds gender differences in parenting and household labor persist among a group of highly motivated physician-researchers in the early stages of their career. The finding could shed light on why female academic physicians in general do not have the same career success as their male colleagues.

"One might expect that within a highly educated Generation X population there would be a relatively even distribution of domestic labor. But what we found was that there still seems to be a difference in the expectations at home for men and women, even for those with very busy jobs, even today," says study author Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan Health System.

Researchers surveyed 1,055 people with a medical degree who had recently received career development awards from the National Institutes of Health. Questions assessed how physicians allocated their time and what their family responsibilities looked like. The study appears in the March 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Among physicians who were married, the men were almost four times more likely to have a spouse who was not employed or worked only part-time. Among married physicians with children, men reported working seven hours longer and spending 12 fewer hours on parenting and domestic tasks each week than women.

"It's possible some of these differences are explained by the ability of male physicians to still support the traditional breadwinner model of a family. The vast majority of women in our sample were married to full-time working spouses, whereas a majority of the men had part-time or non-working spouses," Jagsi says.

But even when accounting for a spouse's employment and other factors, married women with children spent 8.5 hours more on parenting and domestic activities than did their male counterparts.

"This may also reflect the impact of some very subtle unconscious expectations we all have, and these have been resistant to change," Jagsi says. For example, school forms often ask for the mother's name first, implying the woman is the primary point of contact.

What this means in the medical field in particular is that women are likely to sacrifice their research time, because that time is most flexible. If research time is sacrificed, it directly impacts the physician's success in an academic career and ultimate ability to ascend to leadership positions in the field.

The researchers cite potential interventions that could help reduce the conflict between professional and domestic roles, such as providing onsite child care at conferences, allowing the use of discretionary funding to support a nanny during conference travel, or providing subsidies for cleaning, cooking or other household tasks that could be delegated to allow time for both family and a demanding career.

"Medicine needs to be a profession in which both men and women can succeed and an environment in which women can be successful role models," Jagsi says. "We are seeing a growing appreciation of the need to facilitate work-life balance for both men and women, but it is important to recognize how this continues to challenge women more than men in our society."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shruti Jolly, Kent A. Griffith, Rochelle DeCastro, Abigail Stewart, Peter Ubel, Reshma Jagsi. Gender Differences in Time Spent on Parenting and Domestic Responsibilities by High-Achieving Young Physician-Researchers. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2014; 160 (5): 344-353 DOI: 10.7326/M13-0974

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Female doctors spend more time than male doctors on parenting, household tasks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303211252.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2014, March 3). Female doctors spend more time than male doctors on parenting, household tasks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303211252.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Female doctors spend more time than male doctors on parenting, household tasks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303211252.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins