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Women Physicians and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To understand how existing inequities within the medical profession are affecting women physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic
1 Credit CME

Despite the complexity and challenges inherent in the US health care system and the unprecedented demands in and disruptions of clinical practice created by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it remains a privilege to be a physician. This privilege comes with many responsibilities, including a responsibility to reflect on the profession and address the entrenched dysfunctional ways of the work involved in medicine. The medical profession has missed opportunities to establish reasonable demands and expectations for physicians. Instead, physicians are often asked to do more that moves them away from the deep thinking that is needed for patient care. This has led to a loss of professional fulfillment and a moral crisis for an increasing number of physicians.1,2

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Linda Brubaker, MD, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, MC 0971, La Jolla, CA 92075 (librubaker@ucsd.edu).

Published Online: July 31, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.14797

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Brubaker reported that she is editor in chief of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.

References
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2.
Berwick  DM .  Moral choices for today’s physician.   JAMA. 2020;323(17):1708-1709. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2984 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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National Academy of Medicine. Action collaborative on clinician well-being and resilience. Accessed July 28, 2020. https://nam.edu/initiatives/clinician-resilience-and-well-being
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Jena  AB , Olenski  AR , Blumenthal  DM .  Sex differences in physician salary in US public medical schools.   JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(9):1294-1304. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.3284 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Swartz  TH , Palermo  AS , Masur  SK , Aberg  JA .  The science and value of diversity: closing the gaps in our understanding of inclusion and diversity.   J Infect Dis. 2019;220(suppl 2):S33-S41. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiz174 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Myers  SP , Dasari  M , Brown  JB ,  et al.  Effects of gender bias and stereotypes in surgical training: a randomized clinical trial.   JAMA Surg. 2020;155(7):552-560. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.1127 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Ly  DPJA , Jena  AB .  Sex differences in time spent on household activities and care of children among US physicians, 2003-2016.   Mayo Clin Proc. 2018;93(10):1484-1487. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2018.02.018 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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