The Well-Being of Women in Healthcare Professions: A Comprehensive Review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Global advances in integrative medicine and health






burnout; clinicians; healthcare providers; job satisfaction; psychological health; quality of life; resiliency; stress; well-being; women’s health; work-life integration


BACKGROUND: A multidisciplinary team of health scientists and educators at an academic medical center came together to consider the various factors that impact well-being among self-identified women working in healthcare and conducted a comprehensive literature review to identify the existing body of knowledge. OBJECTIVES: To examine how well-being is defined, what instruments are used to measure it, and correlation between professional and personal gender-specific factors that impact the well-being of women in healthcare occupations. METHODS: A total of 71 studies published in 26 countries between 1979-2022 were extracted from PubMed. Studies enrolled adult women (18-74 y.o.) healthcare professionals including nurses, physicians, clinical social workers, and mental health providers. Well-being related phenomena such as quality of life (QOL), stress, burnout, resiliency, and wellness were investigated. In this review, women are broadly defined to include any individual who primarily identifies as a woman regardless of their sex assigned at birth. RESULTS: The results of our analysis were consistent across the scope of the literature and indicated that women in healthcare occupations endure a significantly higher level of stress and burnout compared to their male counterparts. The following gender-specific factors were identified as having direct correlation to well-being: job satisfaction, psychological health, and work-life integration. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this review indicate a need for evidence-based integrative interventions across healthcare enterprises to combat stress and burnout and strengthen the resiliency and well-being of women in healthcare. Using information from this review, our team will launch a comprehensive well-being assessment and a series of interventions to support resiliency and well-being at our academic medical center.


Clinical Research and Leadership