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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-22
 

Quality of life of indian pediatric surgeons: Results of a survey (of indian association of pediatric surgeons members)


Department of Pediatric Surgery, Narayana Health, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication23-Nov-2016

Correspondence Address:
M M Zameer
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Narayana Health, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-9261.194615

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   Abstract 

Introduction: Much is debated on the quality of life of pediatric surgeons practicing in India, all based on anecdotal and personal experiences. There is no systematic study on this. This study addresses this and attempts to glean a clearer picture of the life as a pediatric surgeon in India.
Methodology: This questionnaire-based study was administered via an online survey to all Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons members. The responses were anonymous and investigators blinded. Data were collated and analyzed using STAT11.1.
Results: A total of 173 pediatric surgeons responded. Eighty-six percent were men. About 73.7% of the surgeons were between 31 and 50 years of age. Almost 63.4% practiced in urban areas, whereas 36% in other smaller towns. About 0.6% reported that their practice was rural. Almost 26.4% were in private/solo practices, whereas 53.4% were in institution-based practice. Almost 80% felt that they were adequately trained while starting their practice. About 78% are professionally satisfied with their work. Only 44.5% of surgeons felt that they were compensated adequately financially. Reading was the favorite pass time. Almost 40% of the surgeons felt that they were either overweight or obese. About 41% of the surgeons exercise more than 3 times a week. Only 11.4% smoke, whereas 36% drink. Fifty-three percent of surgeons felt that their personal savings were adequate. Seventy-six percent use Facebook. Sixty-eight percent were satisfied with their quality of life. Age was significantly associated with professional satisfaction, financial satisfaction, and quality of life and all improve as one's age progresses. None were affected with one's gender, type of practice, and the place of practice. Age, weight, exercise, and one's savings significantly affected ones quality of life.
Conclusion: This is the first study which objectively highlights that most surgeons are happy professionally and financially in due course of time and demolishes the common belief that pediatric surgeons are unsatisfied. It also acts as a point of reference and encouragement to newer aspirants in pediatric surgery.


Keywords: Pediatric surgeon, profession, quality of life, satisfaction


How to cite this article:
Zameer M M, Rao S, Vinay C, D'Cruz A. Quality of life of indian pediatric surgeons: Results of a survey (of indian association of pediatric surgeons members). J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2017;22:19-22

How to cite this URL:
Zameer M M, Rao S, Vinay C, D'Cruz A. Quality of life of indian pediatric surgeons: Results of a survey (of indian association of pediatric surgeons members). J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2017 [cited 2017 Apr 23];22:19-22. Available from: http://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2017/22/1/19/194615



   Introduction Top


The pros and cons of being a pediatric surgeon in India are often discussed in various meetings. Much is debated on the quality of life of Indian pediatric surgeons practicing in India. However, all debate is based on anecdotal and personal experiences. There is no published data. This study addresses this lack of data and attempts to glean a clearer picture of the life as a pediatric surgeon in India.


   Methodology Top


A questionnaire-based study was administered via an online survey. Questions assessing multiple factors related to the demographics, health and lifestyle, and profession were asked. All the members of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons (IAPS) were invited to participate in the survey. Their E-mail ids were obtained from the IAPS secretary and through the yahoo groups of the IAP members. The responses were anonymous and investigators blinded to the raw data. Data were collated in excel sheets and analyzed by our in-house statistician using STAT11.1 (College Station, TX, USA). Chi-square test was used to find the significance between the categorical variables.


   Results Top


A total of about 400 E-mails were sent. Only 325 E-mails were authentic. Out of these 173 pediatric surgeons representing different age groups and centers throughout India responded.

Demographic data (questionnaire with the responses: [Table 1])

Most of the respondents (73.7%) were in the age Group of 30-50 years. Only 14% were females. About 63% practiced in urban areas, whereas 36% in other smaller towns. Less than one percent (0.6%) reported that their practice was rural. Almost 26.4% were in private/solo practices, whereas 53.4% were in institution-based practice. About 20% had mixed practices.
Table 1: Demographic data: Questionnaire with results

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Health- and lifestyle-related data (questionnaire with the responses: [Table 2])

Ninety-four (58.4%) respondents had a normal body mass index (BMI). Fifty-seven (35.4%) were overweight and seven, i.e. 4.3% of surgeons were obese. Sixty-six (41%) respondents exercise more than 3 times a week, whereas 46, i.e. 28.6% exercise less than once a week.
Table 2: Health- and lifestyle-related data: Questionnaire with results

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Reading was the favorite pass time among the surgeons (50%). Some preferred to travel, meet people, watch movies, and exercise. Only 11.4% of respondents smoked, whereas 36% consumed alcohol. Seventy-six percent use Facebook. Youtube (33%), Linkedin (21.1%) and Twitter (11.8%) were being used by few.

Profession-related data (questionnaire with the responses: [Table 3])

Most of the respondents (80%) felt that they were adequately trained when they had started their practice. Almost 85% of respondents agreed that they had good support from fellow pediatric surgeons in their practices. The age, gender, place, or type of practice of respondents did not influence in these aspects statistically.
Table 3: Professional data: Questionnaire with results

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Almost 80% (128) of respondents were professionally satisfied. Only 10% were not satisfied, whereas another 10% were not sure. Female respondents were less satisfied professionally than their male colleagues though this difference was not statistically significant. Again the age, place, and type of practice of the respondents did not influence the level of professional satisfaction.

Less than half of the responding pediatric surgeons (44.6%) felt that they were being compensated adequately financially. About 17% were not sure and 38.4% felt that they were not. Age was a statistically significant factor that affected one's financial satisfaction. The younger pediatric surgeons were unhappy, whereas the older ones were more satisfied. Gender, place, or type of practice did not statistically affect one's level of financial satisfaction [Table 4].
Table 4: A P value of different factors affecting life of a pediatric surgeon

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Quality of life issues

Almost 62% of responding pediatric surgeons reported a satisfactory work-life balance. Only 15% did not, whereas 23% were not sure about it! Age was again found to be a very significant factor determining the satisfactory work-life balance among pediatric surgeons (P < 0.001). The older one gets the more likely that he or she will achieve a satisfactory work-life balance. Gender, type, and place of practice did not influence work-life balance.

More than two-third (67.5%) of responding pediatric surgeons were satisfied with their quality of life. Only 13.6% were not. Age was a statistically significant factor affecting the quality of life (P = 0.03). The quality of life improved with the age of the surgeon. Gender, place, and type of practice did not affect the quality of life. The BMI and exercise were also significant factors affecting one's quality of life with P = 0.042 and 0.01, respectively. The lesser the weight and the more exercise one did, the better the quality of life. Adequate personal savings were found to be the most significant factor affecting one's quality of life with the P < 0.001 [Table 5].
Table 5: A P value of different factors affecting the quality of life of the pediatric surgeon

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   Discussion Top


Most of the pediatric surgeons in India felt that they were adequately trained while starting their practice and had good support from fellow pediatric surgeons irrespective of their age, gender, place, or type of practice. Furthermore, more than 80% were professionally satisfied. More than two-third (67.5%) of the pediatric surgeons were satisfied with their quality of life. Gender, place, and type of practice did not influence it. The quality of life improved with age and with better personal savings.

There is scant comparative data in English literature which has outlined the life and profession of a pediatric surgeon in an objective manner. A similar study was done by Narasimhan et al. [1] in year 2000. A questionnaire was sent to 200 Indian pediatric surgeons, out of which 50 responded. This study showed that 75% of the pediatric surgeons felt that they were sufficiently trained and were doing quality professional work though only 50% were economically satisfied. Few studies have been done with regard to the life of women pediatric surgeons. In a survey of the pediatric surgeons in the UK, 93% are contented with their career and would choose pediatric surgery again. [2] In another study from America, the women pediatric surgeons reported an 83% career satisfaction. [3] In a survey of the US plastic surgeons, of the 5942 surgeons invited, 1691 completed the survey. Approximately, one-fourth of the plastic surgeons had significantly lower quality of life scores than the US population. They had lower career satisfaction and more work-home conflicts as well. [4] In a similar survey among the American neurosurgeons, 95% had career satisfaction (73% very satisfied). [5]


   Conclusion Top


This study attempts to objectively describe the life of a pediatric surgeon in India. It demonstrates that after the initial years of hardship, most of the surgeons are happy professionally and financially. Early years, when one is starting out his/her practice and also trying to balance a young family are tough on the surgeon. However, things do get better as years pass and most achieve financial security, professional satisfaction, and good work-life balance. Age, weight, optimal physical exercise, and adequate savings significantly have a positive impact on the quality of life. Gender, type of practice, and the place of practice do not have any impact.

This first of its kind survey disagrees to the common belief that pediatric surgeons in our country are unsatisfied. It also acts as a point of reference and encouragement to the newer aspirants in pediatric surgery.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
Narasimhan KL, Misra BN, Chowdhary SK, Samujh R, Rao KL. A survey of the training professional status and career opportunities of pediatric surgeons in the Indian context. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2000;5:3-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Smith NP, Dykes EH, Youngson GS, Losty PD. Is the grass greener? A survey of female pediatric surgeons in the United Kingdom. J Pediatr Surg 2006;41:1879-81.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Caniano DA, Sonnino RE, Paolo AM. Keys to career satisfaction: Insights from a survey of women pediatric surgeons. J Pediatr Surg 2004;39:984-90.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Qureshi HA, Rawlani R, Mioton LM, Dumanian GA, Kim JY, Rawlani V. Burnout phenomenon in U.S. plastic surgeons: Risk factors and impact on quality of life. Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;135:619-26.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Klimo P Jr., DeCuypere M, Ragel BT, McCartney S, Couldwell WT, Boop FA. Career satisfaction and burnout among U.S. neurosurgeons: A feasibility and pilot study. World Neurosurg 2013;80:e59-68.  Back to cited text no. 5
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]



 

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