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Most Partners of U.S. Docs Satisfied in Their Relationships

Most Partners of U.S. Docs Satisfied in Their Relationships

Time spent awake with physician partner is strongest predictor of relationship satisfaction

MONDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Most spouses/partners of U.S. physicians report being satisfied with their relationships, with satisfaction linked to time spent together each day, according to research published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Tait D. Shanafelt, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues conducted a national survey of 891 spouses/partners of U.S. physicians to assess physician relationships from the perspective of their spouses/partners.

The researchers found that 86.8 percent of spouses/partners reported being satisfied with their relationship with their physician partner, with satisfaction strongly linked to the time spent awake with their physician partner each day. However, spouses/partners reported that physicians often returned home irritable, too tired to engage in home activities, or preoccupied with work. On multivariate analysis, the strongest predictor of relationship satisfaction was the number of minutes spent awake with physician partners each day, with evidence of a dose-response effect. On adjusted analysis, the only professional characteristic of physician partners which correlated with relationship satisfaction was the number of nights on call.

"The spouses/partners of U.S. physicians report generally high satisfaction with their relationships," the authors write. "The mean time spent with their physician partners each day appears to be a dominant factor associated with relationship satisfaction and overshadows any specific professional characteristic of the physicians' practice, including specialty area, practice setting, and work hours."

Abstract (http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(12)01187-1/abstract )Full Text (http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(12)01187-1/fulltext )Editorial (http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(13)00062-1/fulltext )