A national survey was used to study the differences in career and family patterns of pediatricians who work part-time (PT) vs those who work full-time (FT). A questionnaire mailed to 375 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics asked about age, marital status, number of children, type of practice, hours worked in particular duties, and attitudes about their choices. Sixty-five percent (n = 216) of the questionnaires were completed. The mean age of both the PT and FT women was 40 years, and FT men averaged 46 years. Thirty-seven percent of women had worked PT at some point in their careers; 21% were currently working PT. Only 70% of the FT women were married compared with 97% and 95% of PT women and FT men. The FT women had significantly fewer children (mean 1.27, compared with 2.34 for PT women and 2.39 for FT men). Part-time women in academic medicine tended to do little research or administrative work, but they had more teaching responsibilities. Almost all the PT women were happy with their decisions and careers despite the feeling among many that they had made career compromises. Many of the FT pediatricians wanted to work less. It is concluded that many women, particularly those with children, choose PT work in order to combine career and family duties. These choices may lead to different career paths for women pediatricians. By recognizing these different career paths, it may be possible for academic institutions to benefit from the unique contributions that PT women pediatricians can make.
- Received September 4, 1990.
- Accepted December 12, 1990.
- Copyright © 1991 by the American Academy of Pediatrics