Individual and hospital-specific factors influencing medical graduates' time to medical specialization
Previous studies of gender differences in relation to medical specialization have focused more on social variables than hospital-specific factors. In a multivariate analysis with extended Cox regression, we used register data for socio-demographic variables (gender, family and having a child born during the study period) together with hospital-specific variables (the amount of supervision available, efficiency pressure and the type of teaching hospital) to study the concurrent effect of these variables on specialty qualification among all 2474 Norwegian residents who began specialization in 1999–2001. We followed the residents until 2010. A lower proportion of women qualified for a specialty in the study period (67.9% compared with 78.7% of men, p < 0.001), and they took on average six months longer than men did to complete the specialization qualification (p < 0.01). Fewer women than men entered specialties providing emergency services and those with longer working hours, and women worked shorter hours than men in all specialties. Hospital factors were significant predictors for the timely attainment of specialization: working at university hospitals (regional) or central hospitals was associated with a reduction in the time taken to complete the specialization, whereas an increased patient load and less supervision had the opposite effect. Multivariate analysis showed that the smaller proportion of women who qualified for a specialty was explained principally by childbirth and by the number of children aged under 18 years.
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Volume (Year): 97 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
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