Part Time vs. Full Time

Women make the decision whether to work full-time or part-time based on myriad influences. One physician study showed that parenting, in combination with gender, greatly influences workforce choices for dermatologists with young families but that gender alone has little impact on those choices (Jacobson, 2004). Obviously, if your family’s financial well-being depends on your working full-time, then your decision is made. But for most mothers, the issue requires more attention and regular re-evaluation.

If you have a partner, then you are likely making a joint decision. Each family feels differently about schedules. Full-time work for one of you might mean that the other is able to work part-time. Full-time work for one of you might mean that the other can only work part-time. Then, of course, you will need to decide which partner gets which schedule. Sometimes this decision is affected by which partner has the better benefits package. Budgets and even personalities are also important considerations. With full-time work, what you gain financially you may lose personally. A few days a week at home for one of you might be blissful, and for the other, painful.

If you work full-time, you will have more money for leisure activities but less time for leisure. A full-time clinical practice or academic appointment often has significant after-hours obligations. These professional duties can cut into evening family time, which is unacceptable to some parents. Finding vacation coverage for a full-time clinician can be difficult as well.

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