Gender Differences in Work-Life Integration, Career Satisfaction, and Burnout in Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physicians: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2023 Oct 20. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000003055. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Women physicians report worse work-life integration, career satisfaction, and burnout than men. No studies have evaluated work-life integration and career satisfaction in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) or explored gender differences for these outcomes. This study aims to (1) compare work-life integration, career satisfaction, and burnout in women and men PEM physicians and (2) compare associated individual and occupational factors to distinguish modifiable factors.

Methods: We distributed an electronic survey to assess well-being parameters in PEM physicians. We assessed career satisfaction and work-life integration with single-item measures. We used a 2-item screen to measure burnout. We performed descriptive analyses, univariate analysis to compare gender differences, and multivariate logistic regression analysis for each outcome.

Results: Two hundred thirty-nine PEM physicians participated, yielding a response rate of 50% (57% women; age range, 30-80 years). Overall satisfaction with work-life integration was 42.9%, with 34.3% of women reporting appropriate work-life integration, compared with 55.4% of men (P = 0.001). Career satisfaction rate was 77.8%, with 71.6% of women reporting career satisfaction, compared with 86.1% of men (P = 0.008). Burnout rate was 44.5%, with 53.7% of women reporting burnout compared with 33.7% of men (P = 0.002). Modifiable factors identified include perception of unfair compensation, inadequate physical and mental health support provided by organization, feeling unappreciated, inadequate provider staffing, inadequate resources for patient care, lack of advance notice or control of work schedule, and inadequate sleep.

Conclusions: Of PEM physicians, women have worse work-life integration, less career satisfaction, and more burnout than men. The PEM community should devote resources to modifiable occupational factors to improve gender disparities in well-being parameters.