Pilot Survey into Faculty Experience: Understanding Gender Disparities

Anju Patel, MD
Department of Surgery
Division of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat)
Poster Overview

Burnout involves emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and feelings of diminished personal accomplishment in the context of work. Physician burnout is linked to suboptimal patient care and workforce dropout. Younger clinicians and female clinicians have greater burnout. Nearly 40% of women physicians transition to part-time status or leave medicine within 6 years of completing residency, primarily due to work-family conflict. Also contributing are gender harassment, gender bias, professional advancement challenges, and discrimination related to parenting roles. Diversity, equity, and inclusion within healthcare providers is critical, even beyond studies reporting lower mortality rates in patients treated by female physicians. We aim to develop a system to objectively track and provide insight into faculty experience, prior to the point of leaving the workforce.

 

Questionnaire content was created and validated using a specialized design process involving representative groups at Harvard Medical School. Questions were built into an electronic system with technology to adapt to answered questions. The current version contains gender, race, parental status, and faculty level with 9, 14, 9, and 10 questions, respectively.

To explore the survey, please click this link: https://phsinterface.limequery.com/732783?token=6k2aOsnmB1JM6eo&newtest=Y

 

Preliminary findings demonstrate feasibility and utility of employing a trackable adaptive electronic interface to acquire and study faculty data. Further analysis will identify challenges facing female, parent, and under-represented clinicians.

Scientific Abstract

Background: Physician burnout affects our national public health, and young and female clinicians are more affected, with associated attrition. Nearly 40% of women physicians transition to part-time status or leave medicine within 6 years of completing residency, primarily due to work-family conflict. Also contributing are gender harassment, gender bias, professional advancement challenges, and discrimination related to parenting roles. Diversity, equity, and inclusion within healthcare providers is critical, even beyond studies reporting lower mortality rates in patients treated by female physicians.

 

Objective: Develop a system to quantitatively track and provide insight into faculty experience, prior to the point of possible attrition.

 

Methods: Questionnaire content was assessed for face validity using a cross-disciplinary, iterative process involving multiple subspecialties and faculty development groups at Harvard Medical School. Content was evaluated for burden of completion to the respondee.

 

Results: Questions were developed using ordinal scoring and built into an electronic system with adaptive technology. The current version contains gender, race, parental status, and faculty level with 9, 14, 9, and 10 questions, respectively.

 

Conclusion: Preliminary findings demonstrate feasibility and utility of employing a trackable adaptive electronic interface to acquire and study faculty data. Further analysis will identify challenges facing female, parent, and under-represented clinicians.

Clinical Implications
This study aims to create a trackable adaptive electronic interface to acquire and study faculty data. This will allow analysis to address challenges facing female, parent, and under- represented clinicians and improve physician wellbeing, retention, and disparities among healthcare providers.
Research Areas
Authors
Anju K. Patel, Jennifer J. Shin
Principal Investigator
Anju K. Patel

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