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Dr. North on burnout among women urologists


"In 2021, we were finally able to demonstrate a statistically significant difference in burnout between men and women in urology with women having much higher burnout rates," says Amanda C. North, MD.

In this installment of “Begin Your Journey,” urologist Amanda C. North, MD, talks with host Scott A. MacDiarmid, MD, FRCPSC, about the higher rates of burnout among young women urologists as indicated from the AUA census. North is an associate professor of urology at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. MacDiarmid is a urologist with Alliance Urology Specialists in Greensboro, North Carolina.


MacDiarmid: Tell us about the committees you're on with the AUA and explain briefly each committee to us so we understand what their mission is.

North: The committee that I'm probably most dedicated to right now is the AUA Data Committee. I'm the current chair of the AUA data committee—the first woman chair—and I had served on the Data Committee for many years before becoming the chair. The Data Committee has two subsections. One deals with the AQUA Registry, which collects data from practices through their electronic medical record to meet the government regulations for MIPS and other quality reporting. The other half of the data committee and the half that I'm most invested in is the annual AUA Census. 2023 will be the 10th year that we've had an annual census from the AUA, and that data have been invaluable in our understanding of burnout among urologists. The Maslach burnout inventory first appeared on the census in 2016, and we put it back on the census in 2021. The article about the 2021 census results on burnout was just published in the April edition of the Journal of Urology. We were the front-page article, very proud of that. The census has been a way to get responses from a large group of urologists about burnout. We've also studied a lot of other equity issues, and we've written about the gender pay gap out of the census data, promotional disparities out of the census data. It's been a really valuable tool to understanding the urologic workforce and the needs of the work force. In addition, it helps us promote the legislative priorities of urologists with Congress. We take the data we collect and go to Congress and say, "We need your help with telemedicine because this is what's happening in our field." So it's been phenomenal to work on that.

MacDiarmid: I want to come back to that in a moment, but are there a coupleof high points that you could share with us from the census report on burnout?

North: The most important is the increased burnout among women urologists. Some of it has to do with limitations of size. The percentage of urologists who are women has increased a lot over the past several years. In 2021, we were finally able to demonstrate a statistically significant difference in burnout between men and women in urology with women having much higher burnout rates. Young women especially had very high burnout rates. That's really concerning. Young women in particular are the fastest growing component of the urologic work force, and the fact that so many of these young women are experiencing such high amounts of burnout is really worrisome. It's troubling for the future of our specialty. That would be the primary difference that we saw. The overall burnout rates were fairly stable, but the difference for women was significant.

This transcript was edited for clarity.

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