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Practice Buzz: Working Neurologist-Parents’ Challenges in the COVID-19 Era

Practice Buzz is a new, innovative, spin-off project of Practice Current. Our worldwide surveys will focus on targeted questions for healthcare providers in neurology ranging from hot topics in clinical practice to contemporary issues in work/life balance and blind spots in topics of inclusion, equity, and diversity.

Survey results will be available on an interactive world map along with several comments from international panelists, with emphasis on inclusion and diversity of backgrounds and opinions.

We are conducting this brief survey to learn more about lock down and social distancing challenges specifically affecting neurologist-parents. This survey will help medical societies and institutions to recognize ‘hidden’ COVID-19 impacts on their faculty-members’ access to academic promotion.

Seventy-eight percent of families in the US have at least one working parent (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019)[1] and one-third of the European population has childcare responsibilities (Eurostat 2018).[2] With COVID-19 causing lockdown in some countries and social distancing in others, parents often juggle childcare, homeschooling, and telework. As families struggle to find an equilibrium, productivity scales continue ticking. Progressive reopening is starting in many places with few childcare solutions and modest employer assistance. Some working moms previously kept their caregiver role hidden from their workplaces to avoid being penalized for ‘being a caregiver’;[3] many now find that impossible with a child screaming behind the home-office door or coming to sit on their lap during virtual meetings. During this pandemic, neurologist-parents continue to be caring physicians, devoted scientists, and loving caregivers. No studies to date have investigated neurologist-parents’ COVID-19-created challenges.
[2] Reconciliation of work and family life-statistics. Eurostat 2018. Available at:
[3] Nassim Zecavati, Temitayo Oyegbile, Caryn Peeples, Cesar Santos. Gender Pay Gap Exists for Female Physicians in Neurology. Neurology Journal, 2016 Apr 5; 86 (16 Supplement): P1.343

1. How many children are in your household? *This question is required.
How many of those children are preschool age (newborn to 4 years) during the 2019-2020 school year? Include those who turned 5 years old on or after October 1, 2019. *This question is required.
How many of those children are school age (K-12) during the 2019-2020 school year? *This question is required.
2. Were the changes in your childcare support (if any) primarily the result of COVID-19 lock down or social distancing measures? *This question is required.
3. What was your childcare support prior to COVID-19? *This question is required.
4. What is your childcare support during COVID-19? *This question is required.
5. Are you the main wage earner in your household? *This question is required.
6. Has your employer or larger professional community provided emergency or subsidized childcare in response to COVID-19 (e.g., if you are working as an essential worker)? *This question is required.
Please select the option that applies to you: *This question is required.
7. If you were furloughed or lost your job as a result of COVID-19, do you feel that your status as a parent influenced that furlough or job loss decision? *This question is required.
8. What do you feel are/were the top three domains affected by COVID-19 lockdown/social distancing? Check three. *This question is required.
  • * This question is required.
9. What are the top three professional domains that are/were affected by COVID-19 lockdown/social distancing? Check three. *This question is required.
  • * This question is required.
10. What option best describes your primary work environment in general (pre-COVID-19)? *This question is required.
  • * This question is required.
11. What option best describes your workflow during the most restrictive two months of COVID-19 lock down/social distancing in your community? (Select more than one answer if applicable) *This question is required.
12. How has COVID-19 impacted aspect(s) of your work life?
Space Cell Strongly AgreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly DisagreeNot applicable
Work productivity has increased
Clinical productivity (RVU) has increased
Quality of patient encounter has increased
Telehealth visits have reduced care provider burnout
Education effort and time for trainee education have increased
Quality and experience of medical education effort has increased
Research productivity have increased
Writing/academic time have increased
Administrative work has increased
Clinical service type has changed from my primary specialty
13. To help us understand impact of COVID-19 on personal well being, please respond to the following statement:

Space Cell Strongly AgreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly DisagreeNot applicable
Dependent (child/elderly) care has increased
Quality of time with family has increased
Increased stress, anxiety, or depression with work and life balance
14. How do you identify your gender? *This question is required.
15. What is your marital status/living situation? *This question is required.
16. What is your race/ethnicity? *This question is required.
17. What is your work status *This question is required.