Preliminary Investigation|Articles in Press

Work-Life Experience of Academic Radiologists: Food for Thought

Published:February 11, 2023DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      Work-life experience of physicians is a driver of work engagement vs. burnout. We aimed to determine individual and institutional factors affecting work-life experience of the clinical faculty at a large tertiary care academic medical center.

      Materials and Methods

      The Department of Radiology clinical faculty (n = 62) were surveyed electronically in October 2022. Twenty-three questions, consisting of multiple choice, Yes/No, and Likert scale ratings were administered to obtain demographic information and data for life outside of work, life at work, and work-life integration for the prior 12 months. Work engagements in terms of clinical, research, administrative, and education; work practices including engagement in extra work and remote work; life responsibilities; and utilization of work-life balance strategies were analyzed for percentages and differences in seniority levels and genders. Ratings of faculty work engagement and life integration strategies were assessed utilizing a 1-5 Likert scale. Descriptive statistics were utilized to report mean, standard deviation, median, Q1 and Q3 for continuous measurements, while count and percentage for categories measurements. Comparisons between seniority and gender categories were conducted using independent t-test or Wilcoxon rank sum test depending on data normality assessed through histogram analysis. Chi-square test was used to make comparisons for categorical data. When encountered with small cell (category with <5 count), Fisher's exact test was used for 2 × 2 table analysis and Freeman-Halton test was used for comparisons with more than two categories. SAS 9.4 was used for the data analysis.


      Twenty-eight faculty (M:F = 17:11) responded to the survey (survey response rate 45%). The vast majority of faculty reported working extra hours, with 40% working at least 10 hours extra per week. Total of 42.9% reported performing clinical work in the extra hours worked. Total 70.4% of faculty had caregiver responsibilities and 64.3% reported other individual stresses (e.g., financial, family/social, health-related), which required consistent demand of time and effort. A total of 35.7% of faculty reported not being able to balance competing life and work demands. A total of 21.4% respondents reported not utilizing any individual healthy lifestyle choices on a consistent basis over the prior 12 months. Protected time off work and remote work were perceived as effective strategies to provide adequate work-life balance; however, remote work engagement was relatively minor and 35.7% bought back vacation. Total 53.6% respondents reported a level 4 (out of 5) rating for work being meaningful and being positively engaged in their work.


      Institutions should invest in providing the infrastructure for physician work-life balance and in facilitating healthy lifestyle choices for physicians.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Academic Radiology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Ganeshan D
        • Rosenkrantz AB
        • Bassett Jr., RL
        • et al.
        Burnout in academic radiologists in the United States.
        Acad Radiol. 2020; 27: 1274-1281
        • Shanafelt TD
        • Boone S
        • Tan L
        • et al.
        Burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance among US physicians relative to the general US population.
        Arch Intern Med. 2012; 172: 1377
        • Eisenberg RL
        • Sotman TE
        • Czum JM
        • et al.
        Prevalence of burnout among cardiothoracic radiologists.
        J Thorac Imaging. 2021; 36: 57-64
        • Parikh JR
        • Sun J
        • Mainiero MB.
        What causes the most stress in breast radiology practice? A survey of members of the society of breast imaging.
        J Breast Imaging. 2021; 3: 332-342
        • Chung EY
        • Brindle AW
        • Kamath S
        • et al.
        Work-life balance and career experiences of part-time versus full-time faculty at the Warren Alpert Medical School Of Brown University.
        R I Med J (2013). 2020; 103: 60-64
        • Menashe SJ
        • Parisi MT
        • Chapman T
        • et al.
        Part-time pediatric radiology: the realities and perceptions of part-time employment in the academic setting.
        AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018; 211: 971-977
        • Shanafelt TD
        • West CP
        • Sloan JA
        • et al.
        Career fit and burnout among academic faculty.
        Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169: 990
        • Rotenstein L
        • Harry E
        • Wickner P
        • et al.
        Contributors to gender differences in burnout and professional fulfillment: a survey of physician faculty.
        Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021; 47: 723-730
        • Giess CS
        • Ip IK
        • Cochon LR
        • et al.
        Predictors of self-reported burnout among radiology faculty at a large academic medical center.
        J Am Coll Radiol. 2020; 17: 1684-1691
        • Panagioti M
        • Panagopoulou E
        • Bower P
        • et al.
        Controlled interventions to reduce burnout in physicians.
        JAMA Intern Med. 2017; 177: 195
        • Shanafelt TD
        • Noseworthy JH.
        Executive leadership and physician well-being: nine organizational strategies to promote engagement and reduce burnout.
        Mayo Clin Proc. 2017; 92: 129-146
        • Zhuang C
        • Hu X
        • Dill MJ.
        Do physicians with academic affiliation have lower burnout and higher career-related satisfaction?.
        BMC Med Educ. 2022; 22: 316
        • Bhargavan M
        • Kaye AH
        • Forman HP
        • et al.
        Workload of radiologists in United States in 2006-2007 and trends since 1991-1992.
        Radiology. 2009; 252: 458-467
        • Xiao Y
        • Becerik-Gerber B
        • Lucas G
        • et al.
        Impacts of working from home during COVID-19 pandemic on physical and mental well-being of office workstation users.
        J Occup Environ Med. 2021; 63: 181-190
        • Mazaheri P
        • Hawk KE
        • Ledermann EJ
        • et al.
        Flexible work arrangements and their impact on women in radiology: RSNA 2021 panel discussion summary sponsored by AAWR and more.
        Clin Imaging. 2022; 94: 56-61
        • Meghea C
        • Sunshine JH.
        Determinants of radiologists' desired workloads.
        J Am Coll Radiol. 2007; 4: 166-170
        • Chetlen AL
        • Chan TL
        • Ballard DH
        • et al.
        Addressing burnout in radiologists.
        Acad Radiol. 2019; 26: 526-533
        • Petscavage-Thomas JM
        • Hardy S
        • Chetlen A.
        Mitigation tactics discovered during COVID-19 with long-term RTAT and burnout reduction benefits.
        Acad Radiol. 2022; 29: 1786-1791
        • Kwee RM
        • Kwee TC.
        A new working paradigm for radiologists in the post-COVID-19 world.
        J Am Coll Radiol. 2022; 19: 324-326
        • Dillon EC
        • Stults CD
        • Deng S
        • et al.
        Women, younger clinicians', and caregivers' experiences of burnout and well-being during COVID-19 in a US healthcare system.
        J Gen Intern Med. 2022; 37: 145-153
        • Trockel M
        • Bohman B
        • Lesure E
        • et al.
        A brief instrument to assess both burnout and professional fulfillment in physicians: reliability and validity, including correlation with self-reported medical errors, in a sample of resident and practicing physicians.
        Acad Psychiatry. 2018; 42: 11-24
        • Casper WJ
        • Vaziri H
        • Wayne JH
        • et al.
        The jingle-jangle of work-nonwork balance: a comprehensive and meta-analytic review of its meaning and measurement.
        J Appl Psychol. 2018; 103: 182-214