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Risk of Quitting Up for Medical Center Employees, Faculty During Pandemic

MONDAY, April 5, 2021 -- A substantial number of employees and trainees working at medical centers have experienced major stress and work disruptions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey study published online April 2 in JAMA Network Open.

Rebecca K. Delaney, Ph.D., from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues assessed the career development, work culture, and child care needs of faculty, staff, and trainees at an academic medical center during the pandemic. Analysis included responses from 5,030 participants (mean age, 40 years; 75 percent women; 86 percent White) in a survey (Aug. 5 to 20, 2020).

The researchers found that 51 percent of respondents reported having clinical responsibilities, 48 percent had at least one child ≤18 years, 66 percent were staff, 16 percent were faculty, and 13 percent were trainees. Of parents, nearly half reported that parenting (49 percent) and managing virtual education for children (50 percent) were stressors. One in five of all participants (21 percent) considered leaving the workforce, and 30 percent considered reducing hours. More than half of faculty (55 percent) and trainees (60 percent) perceived decreased productivity, while 47 percent of participants were worried about COVID-19 impacting their career development.

"It is imperative that medical centers support their employees and trainees during this challenging time," the authors write.

One author disclosed receiving personal fees from Prometics Life Sciences and AstraZeneca.

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