Gender disparity in ICU staffing in Argentina.

Affiliation

Servicio de Terapia Intensiva, Hospital Interzonal de Agudos San Martin de La Plata, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

OBJECTIVE : Gender disparities in healthcare are striking, notwithstanding an increase in female students and physicians. Underrepresentation of women in leadership positions is well-documented; however, information from low and middle-income countries (LMICs) is still sparse. The Argentinian Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SATI) aimed to characterize the gender composition in Argentine ICUs.
RESULTS : Between 8/1/2018 and 1/1/2019, 131 questionnaires were submitted to ICU Department Chairs of SATI research networks. Gender distribution of the different staffing levels, board certification and hospital characteristics were recorded. One-hundred and four were completed, including 2186 physicians; 44% were female. Female participation decreased with highest responsibility: only 23% of Department Chairs were female (P = .002 vs. the rest of the staffing categories, adjusted for multiple comparisons). Residents exhibited the highest proportion of female physicians (47%). Board certification was similar for both sexes (62.3% vs. 62.2%, P = .97). Female/male distribution in public and private hospitals was 47%/53% and 40/60% (P < .01), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS : Our data provide evidence of an important gender gap in ICU management in a LMIC. Women were poorly represented in the leadership positions, although qualifications were similar to men. Moreover, female physicians worked more frequently in the public health subsector, usually underfinanced in LMICs-a surrogate of a gender pay gap.

Keywords

Gender disparities,Gender gap,Gender inequities,Gender pay gap,ICU staffing,

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