Background: For the past 30 years, there has been a steady increase in the number of female physicians, but the relationship between their romantic lives and their pattern of training has been inadequately reported. This study was designed to investigate the interrelationships between medical training, quality of life, and the attitudes that female residents have toward romance. Methods: Of the 106 female medical residents at our medical center in 2009, a total of 78 residents (73.6%) were enrolled for the study. Structured questionnaires (Cronbach α = 0.878), which included questions about female resident quality of life, attitude toward spousal choice, and the impact of programmed professional medical training, were self-administered through an anonymous process. Results: Female residents, especially ward-care specialists, were determined to have excessively long working hours (84.6% > 88 work hours/week), insufficient and irregular sleep (44.9%), and inadequate personal time (73.1% < 24 hours/week) on average. Of the 48 residents with ongoing romances, 87.5% (n = 40) of romantic partners were physicians and 58.3% (n = 28) initiated their relationships when they were medical students, but exhibited no preferential dating of senior medical students or physicians. Factors affecting the choice of spouses included time limitations, a limited circle of friends, differences in values, and work-related stress. Those presumptive factors influencing romance between the assumed partner being a doctor or a "nondoctor" were significantly different with regard to lack of time (p = 0.002), values (p < 0.001), work-related stress (p < 0.001), and family background (p = 0.004). Conclusion: Romance and quality of life were significantly influenced by the pattern of medical training in female residents. Setting duty-hour limits and initiating a new hobby were determined to be potentially beneficial to their quality of life and attitudes toward romance.
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