Factors Enhancing Career Satisfaction Among Female Emergency Physicians

Division of Emergency Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
Annals of emergency medicine (Impact Factor: 4.68). 07/2008; 51(6):723-728.e8. DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2008.01.011
Source: PubMed


Attrition rates in emergency medicine have been reported as high as 25% in 10 years. The number of women entering emergency medicine has been increasing, as has the number of female medical school graduates. No studies have identified factors that increase female emergency physician career satisfaction. We assess career satisfaction in women emergency physicians in the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and identify factors associated with career satisfaction.
The survey questionnaire was developed by querying 3 groups: (1) ACEP women in the American Association of Women Emergency Physicians, the (2) Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Mentoring Women Interest Group, and (3) nonaffiliated female emergency physicians. Their responses were categorized into 6 main areas: schedule, relationships with colleagues, administrative support and mentoring, patient/work-related issues, career advancement opportunities, and financial. The study cohort for the survey included all female members of ACEP with a known e-mail address. All contact with survey recipients was exclusively through the e-mail that contained a uniform resource locator link to the survey itself.
Two thousand five hundred two ACEP female members were sent the uniform resource locator link. The Web survey was accessed a total of 1,851 times, with a total of 1,380 surveys completed, an overall response rate of 56%. Most women were satisfied with their career as an emergency physician, 492 (35.5%) very satisfied, 610 (44.0%) satisfied, 154 (11.1%) neutral, 99 (7.1%) not satisfied, and 31 (2.3%) very unsatisfied. Significant factors for career satisfaction included amount of recognition at work, career advancement, schedule flexibility, and the fairness of financial compensation. Workplace factors associated with high satisfaction included academic practice setting and sex-equal opportunity for advancement and sex-equal financial compensation.
Most of the ACEP female physicians surveyed were satisfied with their career choice of emergency medicine. Opportunities for career advancement, fairness in financial compensation, and schedule flexibility were key factors in career satisfaction among female emergency physicians.

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    • "While some may challenge the logic of exploring the current study as a means to find "career dissatisfaction" other health professions have found value in exploring issues related to attrition and career dissatisfaction [5-7]. For example, Clem et al [8] studied career satisfaction of female emergency room physicians and included items such as "I think about leaving my current position" and "if you were to leave your current position in the next year, what would be the reason?" Additionally, Hyppola et al [9] reported that 22% of medical practitioners said that they would consider another profession if they were now beginning their university studies. "
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