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Experiences of a Health System's Faculty, Staff, and Trainees' Career Development, Work Culture, and Childcare Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Delaney RK, Locke A, Pershing ML, Geist C, Clouse E, Precourt Debbink M, Haaland B, Tanner AJ, Anzai Y, Fagerlin A. Experiences of a Health System's Faculty, Staff, and Trainees' Career Development, Work Culture, and Childcare Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Network Open. 2021 Apr 1; 4(4):e213997.

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Abstract:

Importance: In March 2020, US public buildings (including schools) were shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 42% of US workers resumed their employment duties from home. Some shutdowns remain in place, yet the extent of the needs of US working parents is largely unknown. Objective: To identify and address the career development, work culture, and childcare needs of faculty, staff, and trainees at an academic medical center during a pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: For this survey study, between August 5 and August 20, 2020, a Qualtrics survey was emailed to all faculty, staff, and trainees at University of Utah Health, an academic health care system that includes multiple hospitals, community clinics, and specialty centers. Participants included 27 700 University of Utah Health faculty, staff, and trainees who received a survey invitation. Data analysis was performed from August to November 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes included experiences of COVID-19 and their associations with career development, work culture, and childcare needs. Results: A total of 5030 participants completed the entire survey (mean [SD] age, 40 [12] years); 3738 (75%) were women; 4306 (86%) were White or European American; 561 (11%) were Latino or Latina (of any race), Black or African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; and 301 (6%) were Asian or Asian American. Of the participants, 2545 (51%) reported having clinical responsibilities, 2412 (48%) had at least 1 child aged 18 years or younger, 3316 (66%) were staff, 791 (16%) were faculty, and 640 (13%) were trainees. Nearly one-half of parents reported that parenting (1148 participants [49%]) and managing virtual education for children (1171 participants [50%]) were stressors. Across all participants, 1061 (21%) considered leaving the workforce, and 1505 (30%) considered reducing hours. Four hundred forty-nine faculty (55%) and 397 trainees (60%) perceived decreased productivity, and 2334 participants (47%) were worried about COVID-19 impacting their career development, with 421 trainees (64%) being highly concerned. Conclusions and Relevance: In this survey of 5030 faculty, staff, and trainees of a US health system, many participants with caregiving responsibilities, particularly women, faculty, trainees, and (in a subset of cases) those from racial/ethnic groups that underrepresented in medicine, considered leaving the workforce or reducing hours and were worried about their career development related to the pandemic. It is imperative that medical centers support their employees and trainees during this challenging time.





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