Document Type : Letter to Editor
Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Medical Governance Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan
Department of Breast Surgery, Jyoban Hospital of Tokiwa Foundation, Fukushima, Japan
The overall proportion of female physician is increasing worldwide. However, its ratio exhibits a substantial diversity among each member country of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This study aimed to reveal the social factors of countries associated with the percentage of female physicians.
We retrieved the percentage of female physicians and social characteristic which may affect the ratio of female physicians of 36 OECD countries in 2016 or nearest year from the World Bank Open Data. Multivariate regression analysis was performed after univariate evaluations with Spearman’s coefficient to explore correlation of social variables with the proportion of female physicians.
The percentages of female adolescents who dropped out of school before lower secondary school, female population that attained or completed Master’s or equivalent degree, female labour force, and female academic staff in tertiary education showed statistically significant correlation with proportion of female physicians (Spearman coefficient = -0.527, 0.585, 0.501, and 0.499; P = .01, .001, .002, and .008). Female’s educational attainment at least Master’s or equivalent and that of female academic staff at tertiary education were selected after multivariate analysis.
Our study revealed the relationships between advanced education opportunity and female participation in academic positions with the percentage of female physicians. Our research is limited in the difficulty to evaluate physicians’ working hours in spite of its possible effect. Further studies with qualitative assessment are warranted to explore the detail reasons to cause gender gap in physician.
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