|I presented a talk at a lecture meeting hosted by Shimane University Hospital Work-life-balance Support Center, entitled "Early Strategic Career Planning for Female Physicians".
|The Results of Kyoto University Hospital Survey of Physicians' Work-life Balance have been released.
|Open symposium "Work-life Balance of Health Care Professionals and Quality of Care at Hospitals - Progress in Gender Equality at Kyoto University Hospital-" was held in Lecture Hall 1 at Kyoto University Hospital.
|The Results of Kyoto University Hospital Survey for Female Physician Support have been released.
|Lunchtime conference " Thoughts of Career Path for Female Physicians" was held at Kyoto University Hospital Integrated Clinical Education Center.
|Open symposium " Work-life Balance as seen from our Data" was held in Conference Room 5A at the Science Council of Japan.
|Issues concerning female physicians and hospital doctors were discussed at " Medical Cafe", a small public lecture.
|This website has been opened.
Kae Okoshi, M.D. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Kyoto University Hospital
The number of female physicians is anticipated to rise with the ratio of women passing the national exam for medical practitioners exceeding the 30% mark in recent years. However, many female physicians have little choice but to leave the front lines because of pregnancy, childbirth or childcare. Even if the number of female physicians increases in medical colleges, the underlying shortage of physicians will not be mitigated if female physicians are not able to maintain employment. In addition, a working environment in which it is difficult to sustain employment for females is far from ideal for male physicians; therefore, it is understandable why physicians may move away from such an environment, and the quality of patient care provided by exhausted physicians may suffer as well. Improvement of the working environment is thus essential, given that physician maldistribution may lead to the collapse of medical care.
At present, child care support, job placement upon return-to-work and training that have been proposed as “female physician support measures” assumes child care to be a woman’s duty and presupposes that female physicians will leave the front lines at least once during their careers. In addition, a goal of simply ‘maintaining employment’ runs the risk of confining female physicians to an auxiliary role. In reality, very few female physicians occupy leading positions such as hospital directors, managers or professors. An environment in which female physicians can accede more to key, leading positions needs to be created.
We believe it is important to introduce a perspective of gender equality and physician work–life balance (WLB) in which physicians, regardless of gender, do not simply strive to maintain employment but can acquire new knowledge and medical skills, as well as spending quality time with their families and maintaining a healthy social life (outside of work). This could result in better use of personnel through physician redeployment and solve the problem of physician shortage, and lead to the improvement in medical care quality. As an indirect result, physicians —leaders in occupational medicine and preventive medicine — attaining WLB can make them model cases for other occupations in terms of healthy and effective ways of working. Improvement in the working environment for physicians is not only an issue for physicians but is also a socially important issue. We are grateful to have been offered the Health and Labour Sciences Research Grant, which to our understanding is offered to tackle such socially important issues. We are committed to ensuring that through our research we can give back to society in the future.