How Has the Pandemic Affected Women in Medicine? A Survey-Based Study on Perceptions of Personal and Career Impacts of COVID-19

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Womens Health Rep (New Rochelle). 2021 Sep 20;2(1):396-399. doi: 10.1089/whr.2021.0031. eCollection 2021.


Background: Gender inequity is apparent for women in medicine. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are concerns about how women physicians are personally and professionally impacted. Materials and Methods: Participants of the Women in Medicine Summit were anonymously surveyed about their perspectives about COVID-19 affecting women in medicine. Questions were centered around perceived gender bias, productivity expectations, and stressors. Results: At the Women in Medicine Summit, 454 attendees were invited to complete the survey with a response rate of 27% (n = 124). Of those participants, 46% of participants perceived gender bias in the workplace, with 39% citing further inequities with intersectional identities (p < 0.05). Productivity expectations were reported to be higher than before the pandemic in 41% of survey participants. The majority of respondents (70%) reported experiencing high levels of stress during the pandemic, compared with only 16% reporting high levels of stress before the pandemic (p < 0.05). Discussion: It is clear that women physicians are experiencing the pandemic differently. Gender bias is a common occurrence, especially by individuals with intersectional identities. These stressors are not new to women in medicine, but with the overriding impact of the pandemic, higher expectations for productivity, and increased personal responsibilities, employers should focus on preventing further exacerbations of gender inequity in medicine.

PMID:34671760 | PMC:PMC8524726 | DOI:10.1089/whr.2021.0031