Work-Life-Balance in Surgery

Maintaining a good work-life-balance can without doubt be challenging for surgeons. However, it might not be as hopeless as you think it is. Here is what some women in surgery have to say about the topic:

“The concern I had was about being a surgeon being all there is to your life and not being able to have anything outside of that. But that’s wrong. That’s a complete misconception. I have a great balance of life and work.”

“I think work-life-balance is very important. And I think a lot of people get it wrong. … I do karate, which is great and I drag the children along, so we pretend it’s family time but actually I enjoy it most, I think. And it’s nice living near where you work, so you don’t spend a lot of time commuting. That is very useful and I can also drop the children at school on my way to work certain days and that’s again very useful and family time.”

“I think is very important for you to be very honest and transparent about [work-life-balance]. I think you need to be very clear with your partner to what you can achieve and what you can do. The work we do is very intense, so the little time you spend with your family is very important. So I may not spend very much time with my husband, but the two days which I spend with him are very high quality time. We have very orgnised calenders. I know exactly what I’m doing for the next six months every weekend. Maybe that might freak some people out but I get to have the best time I have with my husband and that helps.”

“I used to do a lot of dancing throughout medical school. I was in the University dance team. I stopped that. I don’t really know why. But I recently started salsa dancing and I run. I set myself a target of doing the half marathon next year. I think because I’m revising for an exam at the moment as well – if I don’t do extra things, then I will go mad. So I spend time with my friends and my family. I have to do that, otherwise I’d fall apart.”