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Original article

Vol. 143 No. 0708 (2013)

Academic career and part-time work in medicine: A cross-sectional study

  • Irene Mathilde Hoesli
  • Miriam Engelhardt
  • Andy Schötzau
  • Dorothy J Huang
  • Nathalie Laissue
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2013;143:w13749


The aim of this exploratory survey was to assess predictors for an academic career in a population of physicians working full time (FT) or part time (PT) in the north-western part of Switzerland. We also asked for individual attitudes, influences and motivations towards PT work.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, resident and senior physicians were asked via hyperlink to complete an anonymous 91-item questionnaire. The completed questionnaires were collected anonymously online.

RESULTS: Overall, 389 of 1104 (35%) questionnaires were returned for analysis. Of the respondents, 68.1% worked FT and 31.9% PT. More women than men (57.5% vs 42.5%) responded to the questionnaire and more women than men (68.2% vs 31.8%) were working as residents. Of the FT physicians, 88.9% favoured a work reduction to 60.0–90.0%; 82.9% FT and 97.0% PT physicians considered the introduction of PT work opportunities in their hospital as reasonable. A higher academic score was reached by men (mean 3.69, SD 3.39) than by women (mean 2.22, SD 2.77). Among senior physicians, PT work had a significant influence on the academic score. The possibility to do research, followed by male gender, were the two most significant factors positively influencing an academic career.

CONCLUSION: The possibility to perform research remains the most important predictor for a successful academic career. Working PT diminishes the chance of academic success.


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