Characteristics and Experiences of Women Physicians and Professionals in NAEMSP

Katherine Staats, Catherine R. Counts, K. Sophia Dyer, Rachel Stemerman, Sabina Braithwaite, Anuradha Luke, Mary P. Mercer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: One of the six guiding principles of the EMS Agenda 2050 is to foster a socially equitable care delivery system. A specific recommendation within this principle is that “local EMS leadership, educators and clinicians [should] reflect the diversity of their communities.” Research has shown that women comprise a minority of emergency medicine services (EMS) field clinicians. In academic settings, women are represented at lower rates among experienced EMS faculty than within Emergency Medicine clinicians or faculty at large. The reasons for these differences are also unknown. Little data exist describing the number or experience of female physicians and professionals in EMS. Purpose: Our objective was to describe the composition and experiences of EMS physicians, researchers and professionals who participate in the Women in EMS group of the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP). Methods: We performed a cross-sectional, mixed-methods descriptive study of women belonging to the Women in EMS Committee of NAEMSP. A survey was sent to the 143 members of this group using a list-serve, and the data was collected in Redcap. Results: Seventy-four people completed the survey. Respondents were 96% female, 82% Caucasian, 11% underrepresented minorities (URM), and 7% LGBTQI. Of the 88% that are physicians, 78% are board certified in Emergency Medicine, compared to 55% in EMS. Forty-eight percent reported they received some form of mentorship. Among these respondents, a minority reported female mentorship, which was usually from a remote rather than local mentor (41% vs. 15%). Eighty-three percent of respondents had experienced some form of discrimination or harassment in their career, but only 68% reported their workplace culture discourages such behavior. Thirty-three percent of respondents report receiving unequal recognition because of gender. Thematic evaluation of the qualitative responses showed that respondents felt there were fewer barriers to mentorship and professional advancement opportunities in local work versus national engagement. Conclusions: In a survey evaluating representation of female professionals in EMS, participants reported on their career representations, and experiences of gender-based inequity within their EMS career settings. Several opportunities exist to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion for women in EMS based on our findings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • diversity in EMS
  • harassment
  • mentorship
  • sponsorship
  • women in EMS

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