Critical CareHealth EquityHealthcare CommunicationSMACCThe Challenges for Women in Critical Care

The Challenges for Women in Critical Care by Karin Amrein

Karin Amrein talks about the challenges for women working in the critical care world.

Incredibly, despite female prevalence, Critical Care is considered a man’s world.

We’ve all heard the notion, “big boys with big toys.” The false assumption is that men are more interested in the latest equipment and technology. However, Karin thinks that the “soft factors” like love, care and teamwork are what will make the biggest difference in the future.

Moreover, women are judged by their appearance and not their accomplishments. They are subject to questions like “Are you really a doctor?” or comments like “But you don’t look like a professor.”

Patients and their families are often insecure when a woman oversees their treatment.

Tragically, women are lost on their way to the top, captured by the “Glass ceiling.”

One review showed that women have to be 2.5 times more productive to be given the same score in peer review. Another study showed that papers received better reviews when authored by a man.

Karin presents statistics regarding women in critical care with 31% of ICU trainees and 21% of ICU consultants being women. However, only 7% of the ICU editorial board members were women which was the lowest among all other departments.

Some things can be easily fixed, such as ensuring female speakers are on conference panels. She applauds SMAAC for having an equal distribution of male and female speakers, participants and organisers.

Karin encourages everyone to ask themselves the question “What would you do if you were not afraid?” and to do that without worrying about the consequences. Critical care is in fact, a great place for women.

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Karin Amrein