Emergency medicine in Switzerland: an analysis of physician workforce, gender equality and academics.

Ravioli, Svenja; Haidinger, Michael; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis; Pluess, Emanuel; Lindner, Gregor (2022). Emergency medicine in Switzerland: an analysis of physician workforce, gender equality and academics. Swiss medical weekly, 152(39-40), p. 40001. SMW supporting association 10.57187/smw.2022.40001

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Globally, emergency medicine is continuously evolving and in numerous countries, societies and colleges help develop the specialty on a professional and academic level. However, there are countries, including Switzerland, where emergency medicine is not a fully recognised specialty and there is a historical gender gap.


It was the aim of this study to investigate the trends and developments in Swiss emergency medicine in terms of physician workforce, gender equality and academic posts over time.


In this observational longitudinal analysis, the number and gender distribution of Swiss Society of Emergency and Rescue Medicine (SSERM) members as well as SSERM-certified physicians were analysed in 2011, 2016 and 2021. Additionally, head and leading physicians of SSERM-certified emergency departments of category 1 and 2 were analysed in 2021 with special regard to gender distribution. Finally, an analysis of Swiss academic emergency medicine including Swiss academic tracks, professors in emergency medicine as well as committees, chairs and speakers of the annual SSERM conference was performed.


From 2011 to 2021, there was an increase in SSERM members of 52% and a growing proportion of women from 26% to 35%. Similarly, there was a rise of 66% in physicians certified in in-hospital and 79% certified in prehospital emergency medicine. The proportion of women increased by 153% and 131%, respectively. In the analysed emergency departments, 69% of all head physicians were men whereas 50% of senior consultants and consultants with extended responsibility were women in 2021. Concerning academics, emergency medicine was a mandatory subject at all Swiss universities offering a master's degree in medical studies in 2021. However, 11 Swiss universities reported only six full professors, of whom only one was a woman, and three associate professors in emergency medicine in 2021. The analysis of the annual SSERM conferences from 2016 to 2019 revealed that men outnumbered women at every conference in terms of committees, chairs and speakers.


The number of SSERM members and board-certified emergency physicians, women in particular, remarkably increased in 10 years. Equality appears to be within reach for clinical emergency physicians, but women continue to be underrepresented in academic positions, at scientific conferences and among professors. In Switzerland, academic emergency medicine appears to be lagging behind in view of the growing emergency physician and women workforce, which might complicate further progress in and development of Swiss emergency medicine on a scientific and professional level..

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > University Emergency Center

UniBE Contributor:

Exadaktylos, Aristomenis, Lindner, Gregor


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




SMW supporting association




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

31 Oct 2022 12:13

Last Modified:

11 Jan 2023 23:23

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