The objective of this study was to compare the total weekly working hours, proportions with work hours above the limitations of European working time directive (EWTD) and time spent on direct patient care in 2016 and 2019 for doctors working in different job positions in Norway, based on epeated postal surveys.
From 2016 to 2019, the weekly working hours increased significantly for male general practitioners (GPs) (48.7 hours to 50.9 hours) and male hospital doctors in leading positions (48.2 hours to 50.5 hours), and significantly decreased for female specialists in private practice (48.6 hours to 44.9 hours).
The proportion of time spent on direct patient care was noted to be similar between genders and over time. In 2019, it was higher for
specialists in private practice (66.4%) and GPs (65.5%) than for doctors in other positions, such as senior hospital consultants (43.5%), specialty registrars (39.8%) and hospital doctors in leading positions (34.3%).
Working >48 hours/week increased significantly for both male and female GPs (m: 45.2% to 57.7%; f: 27.8% to 47.0%) and hospital doctors in leading positions (m: 34.4% to 57.1%; f: 17.4% to 46.4%), while it significantly decreased for female specialty registrars (13.2% to 6.9%).