Changes in Doctors' Working Hours: A Longitudinal Analysis

Med Care Res Rev. 2015 Oct;72(5):605-21. doi: 10.1177/1077558715589705. Epub 2015 Jun 4.


The study examined changes in doctors' working hours and satisfaction with working hours over five time points and explored the influence of personal characteristics on these outcomes. Latent growth curve modeling was applied to Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life data, collected from 2008 to 2012. Findings showed that working hours significantly declined over time, with a greater decrease among males, older doctors, and doctors with fewer children. Satisfaction increased faster over time among specialists, doctors with poorer health, those whose partners did not work full-time, and those with older children. The more hours the doctors worked initially, the lower satisfaction reported, and the greater the increase in satisfaction. Findings are consistent with a culture change in the medical profession, whereby long working hours are no longer seen as synonymous with professionalism. This is important to take into account in projecting future workforce supply.

Keywords: Australian GPs and specialists; MABEL survey; latent growth curve modeling; satisfaction; working hours.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Physicians / ethics*