ArticlePDF Available


A survey was designed to determine aspirations, motivations and workplace experiences of both female and male members of the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM). The survey collected both quantitate and qualitative data, including open ended questions. This paper reports the survey’s qualitative results. The research was approved by Ethics at University of South Australia and endorsed by ACPSEM. All 205 women (30% of total membership) and 440 men were invited to complete the survey online. The data for the qualitative analysis were responses to open-ended questions within the survey. 102 women and 150 men completed surveys were received, with 66 surveys analysed, before data saturation was reached. The survey revealed a number of themes that reflect concerns and opportunities identifying the direction for improving work-life balance and gender equity within the medical physics profession in Australasia. Issues around managing challenging workloads and professional development were amplified for women with children and child-rearing responsibilities, directly contributing to a reduction in work capacity and a reorientation of work-life priorities. The survey provides direction for strategies to improve work-life balance and enable equitable engagement in the profession. The first is to identify and develop role models that actively model successful work-life balance and flexibility in gender roles and in professional conduct. The second is to improve the management skills of current and emerging administrators, advocating for improved work conditions for medical physics professionals at an organisation level. Finally, efforts need to be made to establish flexible professional development and career progression opportunities amongst those that are unable to commit to large workloads, which is common for those with child-rearing responsibilities. The realisation of these strategic goals will reduce the identified barriers to full female participation in the workforce, and shift gender-based subcultures within the workplace.
Dear Author,
Congratulations on publishing "Women and men in the Australasian College of Physical
Scientists and Engineers in Medicine: workforce survey" in Australasian Physical &
Engineering Sciences in Medicine. As part of the Springer Nature SharedIt initiative, you
can now publicly share a full-text view-only version of your paper by using the link below. If
you have selected an Open Access option for your paper, or where an individual can view
content via a personal or institutional subscription, recipients of the link will also be able to
download and print the PDF. All readers of your article via the shared link will also be able
to use Enhanced PDF features such as annotation tools, one-click supplements, citation +le
exports and article metrics.
We encourage you to forward this link to your co-authors, as sharing your paper is a great
way to improve the visibility of your work. There are no restrictions on the number of
people you may share this link with, how many times they can view the linked
article or where you can post the link online.
Springer Nature
... Women with school-age children may have been forced to sacrifice the number of hours dedicated to research and scholarly work in lieu of family activities. 17,19 Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the impact of the early COVID-19 pandemic restrictive measures on perceived productivity, work-life arrangements, and the mental health of dental professionals engaged in research worldwide. ...
Background/objectives: Historical evidence shows a gender-based disproportionate effect of pandemics across different populations. In 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began spreading its devastating effects worldwide. The goal of the present study was to investigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on research productivity, work-life arrangements, and mental health of dental professionals worldwide with focus on gender differences. Methods: A 38-item survey, concerning demographics, career stage, employer support, family structure, mental health, and relationships, was distributed to 7692 active members of the International Association for Dental Research. Bivariate associations between independent variables and the primary outcome variable were tested using Spearman's correlation test. A logistic regression model was used to assess the simultaneous, independent associations between each variable and researcher productivity. Results: A total of 722 responses were obtained, indicating a 9.4% response rate. Higher productivity was reported by male respondents (p = 0.021), and by those in senior career stages (p = 0.001). Institutional support was associated with higher productivity (p < 0.0001). Lower productivity was reported by younger researchers (p = 0.003). Remote work negatively affected productivity (p < 0.0001) and female respondents reported working more hours, regardless of work location (p = 0.004). Poor mental health was associated with low productivity (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Our results showed that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected dental professionals' perceived productivity and mental health around the globe. Younger individuals and women were disproportionally affected, and institutional support had a significant influence to mitigate effects of the pandemic for dental researchers.
... Surveys conducted of the Australian and New Zealand ROMP community include workforce surveys conducted by Round in 2006Round in , 2009 and 2012 [1][2][3], a large facilities HealthConsult survey in 2009 [9], and focussed surveys on gender equity [10] and research participation [11][12][13]. Other investigators have published snapshots of the ROMP community informed by data provided via the ACPSEM, with a focus on gender equity [14] and training program outcomes [15]. ...
The ACPSEM radiation oncology medical physics workforce modelling project task group was formed to acquire a snapshot of practices in Australia and New Zealand and to develop an activity-based workforce model. To achieve this, two surveys were carried out, capturing the work practices of 98 radiation oncology departments and 182 college members. The member survey provided a snapshot of the current workforce: their demographics, work conditions, professional recognition, and future plans. The facility survey provided an Australian and New Zealand contextualisation of the volume-based activities defined in the International Atomic Energy Agency activity-based radiation oncology staffing model at a granular level. An ACPSEM ROMP workforce model was developed to be a modelling tool applicable at both the facility and sector levels.
Introduction: This paper outlines the New Zealand (NZ) responses to the biennial facilities surveys of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiation Oncologists (RANZCR), Faculty of Radiation Oncology (FRO) from 2011 to 2019. Methods: The facilities survey is conducted by the FRO Economics and Workforce Committee (FROEWC) and focuses on equipment, treatment activities and staffing. Results: The number of facilities increased by two to 10, both in the private sector. The total number of linear accelerators (linacs) increased by four; one in public and three in private. The majority of linacs were over 8 years old (62.5%). Treatment courses have increased by 19% and fraction numbers by 13.7%. Courses per linac have remained relatively constant. There was growth in IMRT, orthovoltage, high dose rate brachytherapy and paediatric treatments. There was a slow increase in number of radiation oncologists and trainees. The number of radiation therapists was unchanged with a 20% increase in treatment courses per radiation therapist. Physicist numbers have increased but 61.4% of physicists are overseas-trained and vacancies persist. Conclusion: The survey results indicate a rapidly changing radiation oncology landscape in NZ between 2011 and 2019. The challenges of increases in cancer numbers, treatment courses and complexity of treatments and a need to focus on quality standards against a set of minimal increase in machine numbers, ageing machines, static or slowly increasing staffing numbers and heavy reliance on overseas staffing require a national review of radiation oncology services to ensure a sustainable future.
Objective: Medical physics in Malaysia is still considered a young profession. This workforce survey aims to understand the status, aspirations, motivation and experiences of medical physicists (MPs) in the country. A subsection of this survey also aims to understand the role of women. Method: A survey was carried out between April 20 and May 30, 2018 by a working group under the Medical Physics Division of the Malaysian Institute of Physics (IFM). The survey form was designed using Google Form and sent to various public and private institutions nationwide that employed MPs registered with IFM. Results: A total of 106 responses (28% men and 72% women) were analysed. This represented 30% of the medical physics workforce. Majority of them had postgraduate degrees, but their clinical training is mostly obtained on the job with no certification. The number of low-ranking female MPs was disproportionately high. MPs worked long hours and achieving work-life balance (WLB) was a challenge. Factors that improved their WLB included working close to home, having a supportive manager and flexible working hours. Most MPs aspired to become professional and mentor younger compatriots, besides contributing to patient care and research. Gender discrimination was reportedly low. Conclusion: Medical physics in Malaysia is growing and has a strong representation of women. In future, they would probably take over the top management from their male counterparts, whose number had stagnated. A united effort was essential to set up a proper clinical training system to train clinically qualified MPs.
Full-text available
The aim of this article is to offer a view of the current status of women in medical physics and biomedical engineering, while focusing on solutions towards gender balance and providing examples of current activities carried out at national and international levels. The International Union of Physical and Engineering Scientists in Medicine is committed to advancing women in science and health and has several initiatives overseen by the Women in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering Task Group. Some of the main strategies proposed by the Task Group to attain gender balance are: (a) identify and promote female role models that achieve successful work-life balance, (b) establish programs to develop female leaders, (c) create opportunities for females to increase the international visibility within the scientific community, and (d) establish archives and databases of women in STEM. Keywords Women in health · Women in science and engineering, leadership · Mentoring · Archives
Full-text available
Technical Report
This research project was designed to contribute to understanding of a ‘wicked problem’ that appears to repeat itself in successive generations of women in science — the well-documented, entrenched patterns of disadvantage associated with women’s participation in the science research workforce. Despite the fact that outstanding women are increasingly achieving at the highest levels, obtaining advanced scientific qualifications and taking key roles in the fields of science and technology, women’s participation in the science research workforce continues to be characterised by low levels of retention and success beyond the postdoctoral career stage. The focus of the research was on the disciplinary fields of biology and chemistry, as these two disciplines have experienced significant female participation up to the doctoral level for several decades, and postgraduate female biology and chemistry graduates, particularly chemistry graduates, enter a wide range of occupations in industry and government as well as in the science research workforce. This project is distinctive in that it is cross-sectoral in two important fields of science, draws on data from both men and women across all career stages and captures information from those who have left the science research workforce.
Full-text available
O conceito de masculinidade hegemônica tem influenciado os estudos de gênero em vários campos acadêmicos, mas ao mesmo tempo tem atraído um sério criticismo. Os autores traçam a origem do conceito a uma convergência de ideias no início dos anos 1980 e mapeiam as formas através das quais o conceito foi aplicado quando os estudos sobre homens e masculinidades se expandiram. Avaliando as principais críticas, os autores defendem o conceito de masculinidade como fundamental, uma vez que, na maioria das pesquisas que o opera, seu uso não é reificador nem essencialista. Entretanto, as críticas aos modelos assentados em características de gênero e às tipologias rígidas são sólidas. O tratamento do sujeito em pesquisas sobre masculinidades hegemônicas pode ser melhorado com a ajuda dos recentes modelos psicológicos, mesmo que os limites à flexibilidade discursiva devam ser reconhecidos. O conceito de masculinidade hegemônica não equivale a um modelo de reprodução social; precisam ser reconhecidas as lutas sociais nas quais masculinidades subordinadas influenciam formas dominantes. Por fim, os autores revisam o que foi confirmado por formulações iniciais (a ideia de masculinidades múltiplas, o conceito de hegemonia e a ênfase na transformação) e o que precisa ser descartado (tratamento unidimensional da hierarquia e concepções de características de gênero). Os autores sugerem a reformulação do conceito em quatro áreas: um modelo mais complexo da hierarquia de gênero, enfatizando a agência das mulheres; o reconhecimento explícito da geografia das masculinidades, enfatizando a interseccionalidade entre os níveis local, regional e global; um tratamento mais específico da encorporação1 em contextos de privilégio e poder; e uma maior ênfase na dinâmica da masculinidade hegemônica, reconhecendo as contradições internas e as possibilidades de movimento em direção à democracia de gênero.
Although the participation of women within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforces has been widely discussed over recent decades, the recording and analysis of data pertaining to the gender balance of medical physicists in Australia and New Zealand remains rare. This study aimed to provide a baseline for evaluating future changes in workforce demographics by quantifying the current level of representation of women in the Australasian medical physics workforce and providing an indication of the relative contribution made by those women to the local research environment. The 2015 Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) member directory and list of chief physicists at ACPSEM-accredited radiation oncology and diagnostic imaging training centres were interrogated to identify the gender balance of medical physicists working in Australia and New Zealand. A specific investigation of the employment levels of all medical physicists in Queensland was undertaken to provide an example of the gender balance at different levels of seniority in one large Australian state. Lists of authors of medical physics presentations at ACPSEM annual conferences and authors of publications in the ACPSEM’s official journal, were used to provide an indication of the gender balance in published research within Australia and New Zealand. The results of this study showed that women currently constitute approximately 28 % of the medical physics workforce in Australia and New Zealand, distributed disproportionally in junior roles; there is a decrease in female participation in the field with increasing levels of seniority, which is particularly apparent in the stratified data obtained for the Queensland workforce. Comparisons with older data suggest that this situation has changed little since 2008. Examination of ACPSEM conference presentations suggested that there are similar disparities between the gender-balance of proffered and invited or keynote speakers (28 % and 13 % from female authors) and the gender balance of certified and chief physicists (28 % and 21 % female). The representation of women in the ACPSEM journal does not differ substantially between authorship of proffered versus invited work (22 % and 19 % from female authors). While this work was limited to evaluating the membership, annual conference and official journal of the ACPSEM (rather than evaluating the entire medical physics workforce and the contributions of male and female physicists to international conferences and publications), this study nonetheless led to the following recommendations: that a longitudinal study analysing correlations between age, period of service, seniority and gender should be undertaken and that future ACPSEM workforce surveys should include analyses of gender representation.
The gender composition of the existing medical physicist (MP) workforce around the world is basically unknown. The International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) performed a survey in order to investigate the number of MPs in countries around the world and the percentage of women MPs compared to total number of MPs. A simple online questionnaire prepared as a Google Forms survey asking the country, the total number of MPs, the number of female MPs and finally the gender of the person providing the data was sent in mid-March 2013 to six regional member organizations of IOMP, as well as contact points in many member countries. Sixty-six countries responded to the survey by mid-July 2013. Fifty two percent of those who filled the form were females, the rest males. The total number of MPs was 17,024, of which 28% were female (4807). The median values of percentages of females were 21% in the USA, 47% in Europe, 35% in Asia, 33% in Africa and 24% in Latin America. This is the first international survey that investigates the number and percentage of female MPs around the world. There are European countries that are far away from the target set by European Commission (40%) whereas in countries in the Middle East and Asia, female MPs actually outnumber males. This study is the first step in a more in-depth study that needs to be taken in near future. Copyright © 2015 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The concept of hegemonic masculinity has influenced gender studies across many academic fields but has also attracted serious criticism. The authors trace the origin of the concept in a convergence of ideas in the early 1980s and map the ways it was applied when research on men and masculinities expanded. Evaluating the principal criticisms, the authors defend the underlying concept of masculinity, which in most research use is neither reified nor essentialist. However, the criticism of trait models of gender and rigid typologies is sound. The treatment of the subject in research on hegemonic masculinity can be improved with the aid of recent psychological models, although limits to discursive flexibility must be recognized. The concept of hegemonic masculinity does not equate to a model of social reproduction; we need to recognize social struggles in which subordinated masculinities influence dominant forms. Finally, the authors review what has been confirmed from early formulations (the idea of multiple masculinities, the concept of hegemony, and the emphasis on change) and what needs to be discarded (onedimensional treatment of hierarchy and trait conceptions of gender). The authors suggest reformulation of the concept in four areas: a more complex model of gender hierarchy, emphasizing the agency of women; explicit recognition of the geography of masculinities, emphasizing the interplay among local, regional, and global levels; a more specific treatment of embodiment in contexts of privilege and power; and a stronger emphasis on the dynamics of hegemonic masculinity, recognizing internal contradictions and the possibilities of movement toward gender democracy.
Researching health: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods
  • J Allsop
Allsop J (2013) Competing paradigms and health research: design and process. In: Saks M, Allsop J (eds) Researching health: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, 2nd edn. SAGE Publications, London, pp 18-41