Vision 2020: How Caregiving and Work Productivity Outlook Shifted for Academic Pediatric Faculty

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2022 May;31(5):631-639. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2021.0555. Epub 2022 Feb 14.


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected both home and work routines and may have exacerbated existing inequities. The objectives of this study were to describe pediatric faculty work productivity and caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic, identify groups at risk, and better understand mitigation strategy preferences. Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional electronic survey of Department of Pediatric faculty. Responses were analyzed by demographic data as well as academic context. Results: Women (p = 0.003) and junior faculty (p = 0.02) reported greater increases in caregiving responsibilities than men and senior faculty during the pandemic compared with the previous year. Faculty perceived a worse one-year outlook for their research than for their teaching or clinical responsibilities (p < 0.01). More than a third (37%) of faculty reported wellness concerns affecting job performance, which was more common among those with increased caregiving responsibility (p = 0.01). Junior faculty (p = 0.01) and those whose increased caregiving (p = 0.01) were two and threefold more likely to report that their caregiving responsibilities would affect promotion, for those likely to go up for promotion within 10 years. Preferred mitigation strategies included clear communication of expectations by leadership, acknowledging the need for adjustments in expectations, flexible work hours, and allowances for an off-line day. Conclusion: Pediatric faculty with increased caregiving responsibilities and junior faculty are at highest risk for the pandemic, affecting their readiness for promotion. Wellness concerns by faculty could affect work performance. Researchers report a worse 1-year outlook than the other groups. Faculty identified preferred strategies to potentially assist in maintaining their productivity.

Keywords: COVID-19; caregiving; productivity; promotion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Work Performance*