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Psychological Contracts: A New Strategy for Retaining Reduced-hour Physicians

Psychological Contracts: A New Strategy for Retaining Reduced-hour Physicians


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Jennifer K. Hartwell, PhD
As a retention strategy, healthcare organizations offer reduced hour schedules to physicians seeking better work-family balance. However, this quantitative study of 94 full-time and reduced hour female physicians in the Boston area found that working fewer hours helps physicians achieve better balance but does not improve their burnout or career satisfaction, or impact their intention to quit or leave the field of medicine. Instead, the findings demonstrate that psychological contract fulfillment, which reflects the subjective nature of the employment relationship, is more important than work hours, an objective job condition, in predicting intention to quit and these other outcomes.