Speaking of work-life-balance – what do surgeons in other countries and cultures think about this issue? An answer to this question comes from Kazumi Kawase and colleagues who surveyed a sample of female surgeons from the USA, Japan and Hong Kong China.
Their results are quite interesting. Among other things they show a discrepancy between ideal and real priorities for participants both from the USA and Hong Kong China. Both groups mention home life as the ideal number one priority in their life, but acknowledge that in reality they prioritise work over their home life. For Japanese Surgeons, both the ideal and real number one priority was work.
However, this prioritisation of work over home life does not mean that they cannot start their own family. The majority of women in all three groups was married, and most women in the USA and Japan (72% and 61% respectively) also had children.
Maybe most importantly, work satisfaction was high among all three groups despite the apparent discrepancy. So while surgery is a challenging – and in all three groups a very time consuming -career, it is ultimately rewarding enough to make up for it.
If you are interested in reading more about this study you can find the abstract and a link to the study here:
The attitude and perceptions of work-life balance: a comparison among women surgeons in Japan, USA, and Hong Kong China.