As it seeks to attract more women to the field of neurology, Japan’s Neurological Society is raising the issue of burnout, which female neurologists report in higher numbers than men.
A survey the society conducted showed “a significant association with the number of outpatient consultations and emotional exhaustion and depersonalization as factors specific to female doctors,” Dr. Sonoko Misawa, vice chairperson of the Society’s Committee for Career Development Promotion and an Associate Professor of Neurology at Chiba University in the Graduate School of Medicine said in a video supported by CSL Behring.
Being a neurologist means sometimes sharing a difficult diagnosis. Neurological conditions can be often serious and life altering for patients and families. At the same time, female patients have said they value female neurologists, especially when neurological disorders impact women’s health and life stage events.
“Being compassionate is often expected and consideration for patients and their family members weighs heavily in communication in situations where ‘bad news’ must be given to them,” Misawa said. A study from Northeastern University made similar findings, concluding that female doctors don’t detach from patients as quickly as men do and experience more emotional fatigue.
CSL Behring, a leading global biotech company, supports the Neurological Society’s work in the area of gender quality and diversity, which aligns with CSL’s sustainability guidelines. CSL specializes in medicines for rare and serious diseases, including neurological conditions such as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). Its sustainability activities support achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes “achieve gender equality.”
Misawa, on behalf of the society, said Japan ranks 120th out of 156 countries, among the lowest in the world, in the “Gender Gap Index” published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). As a result, significant improvements are needed to achieve gender equality and promote innovation, she said.
“CSL Behring strongly supports the Japan Neurological Society and all neurologists who are working to improve the quality of patient-centered treatment and care for neurological diseases, in their commitment to female neurologists and gender equality,” said Jean-Marc Morange, President & Representative Director, CSL Behring in Japan. “At CSL Behring, we are driven by our promise to help patients and their families lead more fulfilling lives.”