Sexist, racial microaggressions prevalent among surgeons
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The JAMA study findings suggest that a high prevalence of microaggressions exists that stigmatize female and racial/ethnic–minority physicians and contribute to unhealthful surgical workplaces and physician burnout.

Workplace mistreatment can manifest as microaggressions that cause chronic, severe distress. As physician burnout becomes a global crisis, quantitative research to delineate the impact of microaggressions is imperative. The study aim was to examine the prevalence and nature of sexist and racial/ethnic microaggressions against female and racial/ethnic–minority surgeons and anesthesiologists and assess the association with physician burnout.

This cross-sectional survey evaluated microaggressions and physician burnout within a diverse cohort of surgeons and anesthesiologists in a large health maintenance organization. A total of 1643 eligible participants were sent a recruitment email on January 8, 2020, 1609 received the email, and 652 replied, for a response rate of 41%. A total of 588 individuals were included in the study after exclusion criteria were applied.

Data obtained from 588 respondents were analyzed.

--A total of 245 of 259 female respondents experienced sexist microaggressions, most commonly overhearing or seeing degrading female terms or images.

--Racial/ethnic microaggressions were experienced by 299 of 367 racial/ethnic–minority physicians, most commonly reporting few leaders or coworkers of the same race/ethnicity.

--Criminality was rare but unique to and significantly higher for Hispanic and Black physicians.

--Individuals who identified as underrepresented minorities were more likely to experience environmental inequities and criminality.

--The prevalence of physician burnout was 47% and higher among female physicians and racial/ethnic–minority physicians.

--Female physicians who experienced sexist microaggressions were more likely to experience burnout. Racial/ethnic–minority female physicians who experienced racial microaggressions were more likely to report burnout. Racial/ethnic–minority female physicians who had the compound experience of sexist and racial/ethnic microaggressions were more likely to experience burnout.

In particular, the prevalence of sexist and racial/ethnic microaggressions against female and racial/ethnic–minority surgeons and anesthesiologists was high and associated with physician burnout.

Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/article-abstract/2777800
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