Work–life balance of German gynecologists: a web-based survey on satisfaction with work and private life

A Letter to the Editor to this article was published on 08 November 2014



Work–life balance is an upcoming issue for physicians. The working group “Family and Career” of the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG) designed a survey to reflect the present work–life balance of female and male gynecologists in Germany.


The 74-item, web-based survey “Profession–Family–Career” was sent to all members of the DGGG (n = 4,564). In total, there were 1,036 replies (23 %) from 75 % female gynecologists (n = 775) aged 38 ± 7 (mean ± standard deviation [SD]) years and 25 % male (n = 261) gynecologists aged 48 ± 11 years. Statistical analyses were performed using the mean and SD for descriptive analysis. Regression models were performed considering an effect of p ≤ 0.05 as statistically significant.


47 % women and 46 % men reported satisfaction with their current work–life balance independent of gender (p gender = 0.15). 70 % women and 75 % men answered that work life and private life were equally important to them (p gender = 0.12). While 39 % women versus 11 % men worked part-time (p gender < 0.0001), men reported more overtime work than women (p gender < 0.0001). 75 % physicians were not satisfied with their salary independent of gender (p gender = 0.057). Work life affected private life of men and women in a similar way (all p gender > 0.05). At least 37 % women and men neglected both their partner and their children very often due to their work.


Female physicians often described their work situation similar to male physicians, although important differences regarding total work time, overtime work and appreciation by supervisors were reported. Work life affected private life of women and men in a similar way.

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The authors thank Evelyn Klein for the careful reading and editing of the final article. The authors wish to thank Dr. Susanne Dettmer for advisory work with the survey. The questionnaire was supported by the German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

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The authors have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Katharina Hancke.

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Hancke, K., Igl, W., Toth, B. et al. Work–life balance of German gynecologists: a web-based survey on satisfaction with work and private life. Arch Gynecol Obstet 289, 123–129 (2014).

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  • Work–life balance
  • Career
  • Family
  • Gender
  • Female physicians