Gender differences in career satisfaction, moral distress, and incivility: a national, cross-sectional survey of Canadian critical care physicians
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PURPOSE: In a national cross-sectional survey, we aimed to i) characterize work profile, workload, and income, ii) evaluate work satisfaction, work-life integration, burnout, incivility, mentorship, and promotion, iii) gauge future physician resource requirements, and iv) assess for differences by gender and specialty (adult vs pediatric). METHODS: We developed, tested, and administered an electronic questionnaire. RESULTS: We analyzed 265 fully and 18 partially completed questionnaires. Respondents were predominantly men (192; 72.5%) and adult intensivists (229; 87.7%). Most intensivists (226/272; 83.1%) were somewhat satisfied or strongly satisfied with their career. Over one third of respondents felt that their daily intensive care unit (ICU) clinical work (113/270; 41.9%), yearly non-ICU clinical work (86/248; 34.7%), administrative work (101/264; 38.3%), and in-house call coverage (78/198; 39.4%) were somewhat high or very high. Nearly half (129/273; 47.3%) felt that their work schedule did not leave enough time for personal/family life. Twenty-seven percent (74/272) of respondents were experiencing at least one symptom of burnout when surveyed and 171/272 (63%) experienced burnout symptoms more than once a month. Ten percent planned to retire in the next five years and 17-20% retired each five-year interval thereafter. Compared with men, women felt that their work schedule left significantly less time for personal/family life (χ2  = 11.36, P < 0.05, odds ratio [OR] = 0.55), experienced more frequent and severe burnout symptoms (F [1,120.91] = 8.04, P < 0.01, OR = 2.0; F [1,112.80] = 4.91, P < 0.05, OR = 1.9), and more incivility in their division (χ2  = 13.73, P < 0.001, OR = 2.8), hospital (χ2  = 8.11, P < 0.01, OR = 2.2), and university (χ2  = 4.91, P < 0.05, OR = 2.3). CONCLUSIONS: Although most intensivists were satisfied with their careers, many were dissatisfied with their workload, experienced work-life integration challenges, and acknowledged burnout symptoms. Women intensivists were significantly less satisfied with their careers, experienced greater work-life integration challenges, more frequent and severe burnout symptoms, and greater incivility.
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