Women physicians in dual-physician relationships compared with those in other dual-career relationships

Acad Med. 1992 Aug;67(8):542-4. doi: 10.1097/00001888-199208000-00014.


This study compared the career and domestic responsibilities of women physicians whose domestic partners were physicians (WP-Ps) with those of women physicians whose domestic partners were not physicians (WP-NPs). In 1988 the authors surveyed 602 women physicians in a large midwestern city regarding their career and domestic roles; 390 were physicians in training (students and residents), and 212 were physicians in practice (academic medicine and private practice). Overall, 382 (63%) responded; of the 382, 247 (65%) had domestic partners; of these 247, 91 (37%) were WP-Ps and 156 (63%) were WP-NPs. The WP-Ps were found to be twice as likely as the WP-NPs to interrupt their careers to accommodate their partners' careers. The WP-Ps also assumed significantly more domestic responsibilities and worked fewer hours practicing medicine than did the WP-NPs. The 163 women physicians in training (44-48%-of the WP-Ps and 119-76%-of the WP-NPs) demonstrated a more egalitarian division of labor overall, with no significant differences between the WP-Ps and the WP-NPs. The authors recommend that longitudinal studies be undertaken to determine whether women physicians in training continue this trend as they enter the practice of medicine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marriage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States
  • Physicians, Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload*