Ob/gyns hold steady in productivity, unlike other specialties

January 1, 2007

When it comes to productivity, several specialists and primary-care providers are putting in longer hours yet seeing fewer patients. At least that's what the 2006 Medical Economics Continuing Survey (11/3/2006) shows. Chalk it up to more paperwork, the need for physicians to get involved in the administrative side of running an office, and an aging population that requires increased time and attention from doctors.

When it comes to productivity, several specialists and primary-care providers are putting in longer hours yet seeing fewer patients. At least that's what the 2006 Medical Economics Continuing Survey (11/3/2006) shows. Chalk it up to more paperwork, the need for physicians to get involved in the administrative side of running an office, and an aging population that requires increased time and attention from doctors.

Interestingly, ob/gyns seem to be bucking this trend. They held steady from 2005 to 2006-working the same number of hours per week (60) and seeing the same number of patients per week (100). In contrast, family practitioners put in 50 hours per week in 2005 and 2006, but saw 11 fewer patients a week in 2006-down from 120 the previous year. General practitioners worked 5 more hours per week this year than last year's 45, and saw 8 fewer patients-down from 108 in 2005.

The gender gap with respect to work hours has begun to narrow among office-based MDs and DOs in 23 specialties sampled for this survey. This year, the difference between the median workweeks for men and women was 4 hours-with men putting in 52 hours and women working 48 hours. Male doctors put in 2 hours less per week than last year, and female physicians worked 3 hours more per week.