Ask supporters and detractors of the seven-on/seven-off schedule their favorite (or least favorite) aspect of the model, and they’ll say the same thing: how it impacts work-life balance.
Heads: “For me, I know that there’s that balance,” says Dr. Houser, who works in Rapid City, S.D. “I know that there are going to be some holidays, some weekends where I’m not going to go to the soccer game or go to the volleyball game or see the choir practice. But the other side of me knows that I will be able to make it up to the kids, if it was something that I missed. I’ll be able to devote that time that I really like to devote to my family when I’m off.”
Tails: “I really believe that [seven-on/seven-off] scheduling is probably more desirable to Generation Y, which tends to have a lot more life quality and life balance as part of their mentality,” says Eshbaugh, the administrator in Traverse City, Mich. “I think the older generation of physicians, especially because they came out of the outpatient world, they were used to working five days a week, every week.”