Female doctors are more emotionally exhausted than their male counterparts in Iraq
Background: The increasing number of women graduating from medical schools doubles the level of responsibility and increases competition with males. Therefore, the assessment of the emotional exhaustion impact on women has become necessary to avoid over-stress at work. This study aims to assess and discuss the gender differences in nine-item emotional exhaustion (EE) subscale of the validated Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) among a sample of Iraqi physicians. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study conducted over the first half of 2014. Data was collected from 576 doctors using a self-administered questionnaire with a multistage sampling technique. An independent sample ttest used to compare the means. Results: More than half of respondents (310, 53.8%) were females with a mean age (±SD) of 40.43 years (±8.59). Female doctors are less affected than males in term of emotional draining from work (p=0.008) and strained by people (p=0.009) respectively. Male doctors are less affected than females in being used up at the end of the week (p<0.001), stressed by working with people (p<0.001), burned out from work (p<0.001) and frustrated by job (p<0.001). However, both male and female doctors are equal in feeling fatigue in the morning (p=0.286), feeling of working too hard (0.284) and of being unable to stand (0.358). Conclusion: This study supports the results of previous studies that female doctors show more empathy when dealing with patients, however, they appeared more prone to burnout and stress.