No one in medicine is coming out of the COVID-19 years untouched. But in more than 2,300 responses to the CMA’s 2021 National Physician Health Survey (NPHS), female physicians are reporting higher levels of burnout, anxiety and harassment in the workplace compared to their male peers.
Nearly two-thirds of women physicians said their mental health is worse than it was before the pandemic. More likely to be younger, caregivers to a child or parent at home, and in the early stages of their medical career, they were also more likely to report excessive administrative burden and frequent fatigue.
“On Canadian Women Physicians Day, we recognize the collective achievements of women in the profession — but also that there is a long way to go to ensure they are able to thrive, from medical school through to retirement.” — Dr. Alika Lafontaine, CMA president
Building a health care system to prevent burnout
Addressing burnout requires meaningful system-wide change in Canada’s health care system.
Did you know?
- Reducing the amount of time spend on EMRs at home and increasing work-life integration decreases the chances of being burned out by 1.3 and 1.4 times respectively.
- Reducing bullying and harassment in the workplaces decreases the chances of being burned out by almost two times.
- If physicians have the opportunity for optimal rest to reduce their level of fatigue, their chances of being burned out decrease by over five times.