Changes in doctors’ working hours: A longitudinal analysis

Catherine M. Joyce, Wei C. Wang, Terence C. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The study examined changes in doctors' working hours and satisfaction with working hours over five time points and explored the influence of personal characteristics on these outcomes. Latent growth curve modeling was applied to Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life data, collected from 2008 to 2012. Findings showed that working hours significantly declined over time, with a greater decrease among males, older doctors, and doctors with fewer children. Satisfaction increased faster over time among specialists, doctors with poorer health, those whose partners did not work full-time, and those with older children. The more hours the doctors worked initially, the lower satisfaction reported, and the greater the increase in satisfaction. Findings are consistent with a culture change in the medical profession, whereby long working hours are no longer seen as synonymous with professionalism. This is important to take into account in projecting future workforce supply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-621
Number of pages17
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Australian GPs and specialists
  • latent growth curve modeling
  • MABEL survey
  • satisfaction
  • working hours

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