Part-time physicians...prevalent, connected, and satisfied

J Gen Intern Med. 2008 Mar;23(3):300-3. doi: 10.1007/s11606-008-0514-3. Epub 2008 Jan 23.


Objective: The health care workforce is evolving and part-time practice is increasing. The objective of this work is to determine the relationship between part-time status, workplace conditions, and physician outcomes.

Design: Minimizing error, maximizing outcome (MEMO) study surveyed generalist physicians and their patients in the upper Midwest and New York City.

Measurements and main results: Physician survey of stress, burnout, job satisfaction, work control, intent to leave, and organizational climate. Patient survey of satisfaction and trust. Responses compared by part-time and full-time physician status; 2-part regression analyses assessed outcomes associated with part-time status. Of 751 physicians contacted, 422 (56%) participated. Eighteen percent reported part-time status (n = 77, 31% of women, 8% of men, p < .001). Part-time physicians reported less burnout (p < .01), higher satisfaction (p < .001), and greater work control (p < .001) than full-time physicians. Intent to leave and assessments of organizational climate were similar between physician groups. A survey of 1,795 patients revealed no significant differences in satisfaction and trust between part-time and full-time physicians.

Conclusions: Part-time is a successful practice style for physicians and their patients. If favorable outcomes influence career choice, an increased demand for part-time practice is likely to occur.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends*
  • Probability
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Work Schedule Tolerance / psychology
  • Workload / psychology
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data*