WHAT’S A TYPICAL shift length for hospitalists? According to data from the 2023 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey, the average shift length for full-time adult hospitalists is 11.3 hours. Pediatric hospitalists, by comparison, reported working an average of 12.9 hours.
Average shift lengths vary based on lots of factors, but not by much. Nonacademic hospitalists, for example, reported working average shifts of 11.4 hours. Academic hospitalists, by comparison, reported shorter shifts—10.8 hours—but the difference isn’t dramatic.
Similarly, we found no major pay differences based on length of shift. Hospitalists working eight-to-nine-hour shifts, for example, reported a mean compensation of $338,671, while those working 12-hour shifts made just a little more at $339,314.
Part-time hospitalists reported working slightly longer shifts than their full-time colleagues: 11.9 hours vs. 11.2 hours.
Our data also found that hospitalists who work more shifts a month tend to work shorter shifts. Hospitalists working one to 13 monthly shifts, for instance, reported an average shift length of 11.6 hours, slightly higher than the average. For hospitalists who work 17 to 20 shifts a month, by comparison, average shift length was 10.2 hours.
Hospitalists who reported the longest shifts work at hospitals and hospital corporations (11.7 hours) and national hospitalist management companies (11.5 hours). The shortest were reported by hospitalists in universities/medical schools (10.5 hours).
By region, hospitalists reported working the longest shifts in the Pacific and the Mountain regions, with hospitalists in both regions clocking in with average shifts of 11.8 hours. Hospitalists in the Northeast reported working the shortest shifts: 10.5 hours.
Who’s working 12-hour shifts?
Another way to look at the data on hospitalist shift length is to examine who’s working 12-hour shifts. Our survey found that 57% of adult hospitalists say they do, compared to 25.5% of pediatric hospitalists.
Among nonacademic adult hospitalists, 12-hour shifts are even more popular (worked by 62.2% of those respondents). Only 44.6% of academic hospitalists reported working 12-hour shifts.
By employer type, 12-hour shifts are most common among hospitalists at national hospitalist management companies (76.3%). They’re least common with hospitalists at universities/medical schools (38.1%).
Finally, by region, 12-hour shifts are most commonly worked by hospitalists in the South (67.3%) and least commonly by hospitalists in the Midwest (49.6%).
See more data on hospitalists’ shift work at our 2023 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey coverage.