Advances in Health Sciences Education

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 29–41

A qualitative study of work-life choices in academic internal medicine

  • Carol Isaac
  • Angela Byars-Winston
  • Rebecca McSorley
  • Alexandra Schultz
  • Anna Kaatz
  • Mary L. Carnes
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10459-013-9457-5

Cite this article as:
Isaac, C., Byars-Winston, A., McSorley, R. et al. Adv in Health Sci Educ (2014) 19: 29. doi:10.1007/s10459-013-9457-5

Abstract

The high attrition rate of female physicians pursuing an academic medicine research career has not been examined in the context of career development theory. We explored how internal medicine residents and faculty experience their work within the context of their broader life domain in order to identify strategies for facilitating career advancement. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of 18 residents and 34 faculty members representing male and female physicians at different career stages. Using thematic analysis, three themes emerged: (1) the love of being a physician (“Raison d’être”), (2) family obligations (“2nd Shift”), and (3) balancing work demands with non-work life (“Negotiating Academic Medicine”). Female researchers and educators reported more strategies for multiple role planning and management than female practitioners. Interventions aimed at enhancing academic internists’ planning and self-efficacy for multiple role management should be investigated as a potential means for increasing participation and facilitate advancement.

Keywords

Social role theoryCareer developmentPhysiciansWomen’s issuesWork stressRetention

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol Isaac
    • 1
    • 6
  • Angela Byars-Winston
    • 1
  • Rebecca McSorley
    • 1
    • 5
  • Alexandra Schultz
    • 1
    • 5
  • Anna Kaatz
    • 1
    • 7
  • Mary L. Carnes
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Center for Women’s Health Research, School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH)University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, SMPHUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI), College of EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  4. 4.William S. Middleton Veterans HospitalMadisonUSA
  5. 5.Medical students at the SMPHUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  6. 6.School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in EducationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  7. 7.Center for Women’s Health ResearchUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA