Method: Questionnaires on the attitudes towards work and personal goals among public doctors were sent out to 700 doctors in the month of June, 2007. Altogether 304 questionnaires were returned by mail.
Results: The majority of respondents aged between 24 to 35 (65%). Half were female (52.4% female, 45.8% male). About 73.3% were frontline residents with 67.8% agreed their work hours being too demanding with 71.1% felt that they were not spending enough time with their family. More than half (55.4%) needed to have on-site on-call 5 days or more per month. Concerning flexible employment, 88.7% supported the option to work part-time. More than half agreed to have flexible part-time specialty training (69.7%). The 5 main reasons for flexible work hours include spending more quality time with family and friends (34.4%), looking after family (29.1%), self-learning (18.5%), developing personal hobbies (7.7%) and health reasons (4.7%).
Conclusion: Hong Kong frontline doctors, both men and women, perceived their work hours being too demanding and supported the option of part-time training and employment. It is hoped that this will provide useful recommendations to help build a more family-friendly working environment, assist all doctors to achieve work-life balance while attaining quality patient care.