Heavier workload, less personal control: Impact of delivery on obstetrician/gynecologists' career satisfaction

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Mar;190(3):851-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2003.10.695.


Objective: Obstetrician/gynecologists' career satisfaction with certain work-related activities was examined among clinicians who perform deliveries and clinicians who do not.

Study design: A questionnaire was sent to 1500 member-fellows of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 842 members (56%) responded. The questionnaire was designed to distinguish between obstetrician/gynecologists who perform deliveries and clinicians who do not in the areas of satisfaction with specific aspects of career and work-related activities. Data were examined initially by multivariate analysis of variance and subsequently by univariate analysis of variance if the multivariate test was found to be significant.

Results: Workload and personal control were the primary factors for which there was a significant difference in satisfaction between clinicians who perform deliveries and clinicians who do not (P<.001). Obstetrician/gynecologists who do not perform deliveries reported working significantly fewer hours per week (P<.001) and had more satisfaction with their work activities than the delivery group overall. Despite lowered satisfaction with certain career aspects among the delivery Group, the highest positive disposition ratings that was given by respondents were for surgery, vaginal delivery, and planned cesarean delivery, with gender differences observed in the level of disposition for these particular activities. The most negative rating was reported for on-call/in-hospital time.

Conclusion: Although positive disposition is associated with the activity of vaginal and cesarean delivery overall, 2 primary contributing factors of dissatisfaction that were identified among obstetrician/gynecologists who perform deliveries were increased workload and decreased personal control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Gynecology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Obstetrics*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Professional Autonomy*
  • Social Support
  • Workload*