HealthDay News — The stressors of integrating work and life are higher among female than male faculty and were more noticeable since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online June 15 in JAMA Network Open.

Susan A. Matulevicius, MD, from the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, and colleagues conducted an online survey among 1186 faculty members at a large urban medical center between September 1 and 25, 2020, to examine perceptions of work-life balance before and since COVID-19.

The researchers found that compared with before the pandemic, since COVID-19, faculty were more likely to consider leaving or reducing employment to part time (23 vs 14% and 29 vs 22%, respectively). Compared with men, women were more likely to reduce employment to part time before the pandemic (28 vs 12%) and to consider leaving or reducing employment to part time since the pandemic (28 vs 15% and 40 vs 13%, respectively). Compared with before the pandemic, faculty with children were more likely to consider leaving and reducing employment since the pandemic (29 vs 17% and 40 vs 24%, respectively); women with children were more likely to consider leaving compared with women without children (35 vs 17%). Both before and since the pandemic, working parent faculty and women were more likely to decline leadership opportunities.

“Without true change in the culture of medicine to support work-life integration and family-friendly work policies, further disillusionment in academic careers may occur and threaten the future of academic medicine as an institution,” the authors write.


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