Specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology: a survey on work-life balance and stress among trainees in UK

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

The object of this study was to evaluate perceptions about work-life balance and levels of stress in obstetrics and gynaecology trainees in the UK. This was a questionnaire survey conducted at the National Obstetric and Gynaecology Specialist Registrar Meeting (SpROGs 2004, Birmingham, UK). A total of 190 trainees in obstetrics and gynaecology attended the meeting. Trainees at the meeting were given a questionnaire to fill in regarding their perception of work-life balance, stress at work and their attitude to training in obstetrics and gynaecology. The response rate was 128/190 (67%). Half of the trainees (64/128, 50%) felt that they had achieved satisfactory work-life balance. There was a trend towards more men achieving this balance compared with women (25/42 (60%) vs 38/83 (46%), p = 0.19). Unsatisfactory social life (82%) and scarce time with the family (74%) were cited as the most common reasons for not achieving a satisfactory work-life balance. More than two-thirds of the trainees (83/128, 65%) found their work moderately or very stressful. Senior trainees (years 4 or more of specialist training) found work more stressful than junior trainees (years 1 - 3 of specialist training) (29/35 (83%) vs 54/93 (58%), p = 0.01). However, 77/128 (60%) of trainees would still recommend a career in obstetrics and gynaecology to medical students. A majority (85/128, 66%) claimed that they would choose obstetrics and gynaecology again if given a second chance. A large number of trainees (110/128, 86%) were looking forward to their future in this field. In spite of the high levels of perceived work-life imbalance and stress at work, most trainees would choose the same specialty given another chance and would recommend the same to others, indicating a certain level of satisfaction with the specialty. However, our study shows that improvements in the working lives of obstetrics and gynaecology trainees are still needed, especially given the current context of difficulty with recruitment and retention of trainees.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-4
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume26
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

Keywords

  • Attitude of Health Personnel, Education, Medical, Graduate, Female, Great Britain, Gynecology, Humans, Male, Obstetrics, Quality of Life, Self-Assessment, Stress, Psychological, Students, Medical