Impact of physicians' part-time status on inpatients' use of medical care and their satisfaction with physicians in an academic group practice
Academic Medical Centers
Medical Staff, Hospital
Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
Inpatients' use of medical care and their satisfaction with their physicians were examined comparing the patients of three part-time physicians and five full-time physicians in an internal medicine group practice at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. In one study, by chart review over a seven-month period in 1988, each patient's length of stay and severity of illness were measured. A total of 58 cases were reviewed: 34 from full-time physicians and 24 from part-time physicians. When matched for severity of illness, there was no difference in lengths of stay between the patients of the part-time and those of the full-time physicians. In a second study, on interviewer-administered questionnaires completed over a ten-month period in 1986-1987, 60 patients gave satisfaction ratings of their primary physicians: 36 with full-time physicians and 24 with part-time physicians. Patients' satisfaction was equally high for both groups of physicians. The authors suggest that since more women physicians in internal medicine are demanding part-time work, and since part-time arrangements have been criticized as having adverse effects on patient care, their findings may contribute to more enlightened attitudes towards physicians who choose part-time status.