Balancing the professional and personal

Alicia Y. Armstrong, Ruben J. Alvero, Susan Dunlow, Mary Catherine Nace, Valerie Baker, Elizabeth A. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To review the common roles that physicians pursue away from work and identify related challenges and potential solutions, so that individuals can develop a personalized plan for success in each of the areas. Design: Literature review. Setting: University-based and university-affiliated medical centers. Patient(s): No subjects were involved in this literature review. Intervention(s): Literature searches in Entrez PubMed and the following Websites:,, as well as other data sources. Main Outcome Measure(s): Results of physician surveys and summaries of strategies for achieving work-personal life balance. Result(s): According to surveys of physicians in various specialties, a majority of physicians have high levels of job, marital, and parental satisfaction. However, professional and personal challenges faced by physicians include struggle with time management, lack of mentorship, and difficulty maintaining intimate relationships. Multiple potentially effective strategies have been described in the literature, including exerting control over hours worked, taking a long view of life that acknowledges the need for changing priorities over time, developing communication skills, seeking counseling services if needed that focus on physician relationships, and simplifying home life whenever possible. Conclusion(s): Although there are unique challenges in being a physician, partner, and parent, many of the professional challenges faced by physicians are common to many adults in the United States. Self-assessment may help individuals to clarify priorities and develop strategies that can lead to improved personal satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-21
Number of pages4
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Professional
  • parent
  • spouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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