Key insights have emerged in a new study conducted by MD Analytics regarding perceived work life imbalances among younger and older Canadian physician specialists.
As a prelude to the latest data, we reflect on previous research we conducted with physicians in October of 2022 which showed that the majority of specialists in Canada felt overwhelmed and burned out compared to pre-pandemic times. While this is true across medical specialties, the data also hinted that this feeling may be more pronounced based on age.
Building on these findings, MD Analytics conducted a follow up study in March of 2023 that included a mix of 100 Canadian physician specialists. The overall objective of this study was to determine the extent to which a generational gap may exist in work life balance as well as within other areas of practice among specialists. In our analysis, we divided specialists into two groups: younger physicians, those under 45, and older physicians, those 45 and older.
Our data provides further evidence highlighting potential differences in work life balance among younger and older physician specialists in their perceptions of work and their practice. In particular, this study shows that younger physicians report working an average of 6 additional hours per week and are more likely to work on weekends compared to their older counterparts. They are also potentially less likely to report having a good work-life balance, with only half of them feeling satisfied compared to two-thirds of the older physicians.
This additional workload on younger physicians may also have broader consequences as they are also more likely to say that not having enough time to optimally help their patients is a top challenge for them in their day-to-day practice.
Based on these results there appears to be a need to better understand and find ways to support the work-life balance challenges faced by younger physician specialists in Canada, which may ultimately affect their personal wellbeing and ability to provide optimal patient care.