Physicians aren't fully off the clock when on vacation, study finds

Even when physicians are on vacation or taking time off, they are often still working on patient-related tasks, according to findings from a study published Jan. 12 in JAMA Network Open.

The study pulled from a survey on vacations with 3,024 physician respondents. .

The study found that 40% of respondents said they took more than 15 days of vacation over the past year, roughly 40% took between 6 and 15 days and around 20% said they took five or fewer vacation days. Emergency physicians were the least likely to take at least 15 days of vacation, while anesthesiologists were the most likely.

Meanwhile, 70% of physicians said they worked on their days off to handle patient-related tasks, with almost 15% reporting that they worked an hour or more each day while on vacation. Female physicians were more likely to work 30 minutes or more a day on vacation than their male counterparts.

The study also found that less than half of respondents had their electronic health record inboxes fully covered by coworkers while taking their vacation time.

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