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PhD - physicians’ work stress and diagnostic errors in emergency medicine

Posted 18 Jul 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
€2,770 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
9 Aug 2024 00:00

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Are you passionate about investigating workforce challenges from the perspective of psychology, health sciences and medicine? Are you interested in applying these disciplines in clarifying risks of physicians’ stress to their work performance in providing patient care? If so, we invite you to join our team as a PhD student to unravel the impact of job demands, job resources and physicians’ work stress on diagnostic errors in emergency medicine.

Job description

Emergency medicine physicians see patients who urgently need care. One of their key tasks is to determine the severity of the situation and identify possible diagnoses. This diagnostic process is challenged by diseases with variable presentations, while emergency physicians deal with interruptions and time pressure in a stressful work environment. This environment is characterized by abundant job demands (e.g. workloads) – and a lack of job resources (e.g. perceived support). Prolonged exposure to such demands and (lack of) resources increases work stress. This is especially problematic as excessive work stress hinders physicians in performing well in providing care, yet it is unknown how the diagnostic process specifically is affected. Therefore, there is a knowledge gap on whether and how stressed physicians exposed to excessive job demands and limited resources are more likely to commit more diagnostic errors.

This knowledge gap is addressed in the current PhD trajectory, by clarifying how job demands and resources, and work stress affect physicians’ diagnostic performance in emergency medicine. Your primary task as a PhD student involves conducting scientific research together with your supervisory team. This involves coordinating the data collection of studies and performing data analyses. Furthermore, you will be tasked with the writing of scientific articles, which will culminate into your PhD thesis. In addition to research tasks, you will have the opportunity to enrol in relevant courses that align with both the project requirements and your personal academic interests and you will be able to teach in our Bachelor Health Sciences and/or Master Health Care Management.

The research is a collaboration of the Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management (ESHPM) and the Erasmus MC.

Job requirements

  • A research master or master degree in psychology, health sciences, human resource studies, (interdisciplinary) social sciences or a related discipline.
  • Interest in (occupational health) psychology, health care quality and the work environment of physicians.
  • Strong analytical and research skills.
  • Experience with quantitative research and statistical analyses, including computer skills (e.g. SPSS, Stata, SAS or R)
  • Interest in qualitative research
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and preferably also Dutch.
  • You should be able to work both independently and as a member of a large multidisciplinary team (psychologists, sociologists, health scientists, physicians).

Employment conditions and benefits

We offer you an internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with excellent working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU).

The start date of this position is 1 October 2024 (or in mutual agreement) and you will be basedat at campus Woudestein at Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM). This position is for 1 fte. The salary ranges from a minimum of € 2.770 to a maximum of € 3.539 gross per month Scale PhD on a fulltime basis (38 hours), in accordance with the CAO-NU. The contract is entered into for the duration of 1.5 year, which will be extended with a second term of 2.5 years if the candidate performs well.

Everything else we offer you, you can find below!

  • Everything you need for a good work-life balance: the option to work from home in consultation with your manager, 41 days of paid leave with a 40 hour contract, 8% holiday pay and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus, and a significant discount on a subscription for our on-campus sports centreOpens external
  • Sustainable, inclusive and diverse work environment with an open culture, where you can be yourself and we pay attention to each other and to the world around us. Make the most of our bicycle budget, or join networks such as Young@EUROpens external, FAME or QuEUR.
  • Time and space for your development in the broadest sense: development days and a personal career budget and free access to our university library.
  • Good pension with ABP that EUR contributes 2/3rds towards, discounts on various collective insurances with Zilveren Kruis Achmea, Loyalis, and Allianz, and compensation for travel, working from home and home internet use.
  • Are you currently combining your job with parenthood, or do you want to do so in the future? EUR offers partially paid parental leave and fully paid additional birth leave for partners, and our campus features a daycare (daycare not paid for by EUR).
  • Moving to the Netherlands for your job with EUR? Then you may be eligible for the 30%-ruling if you meet the requirements of the Belastingdienst (Dutch tax agency), and with our Dual Career Programme we will also help your partner find the right job for them.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission ‘Creating positive societal impact’. EUR is home to 4.100 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way – Making Minds Matter. We’re global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR’s distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities.

Faculty / Institute / Central service

Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) is part of Erasmus University Rotterdam and is responsible for a bachelor and four master programs on policy and management in healthcare, which serve 1000 students. In addition, research is being done on three major research themes: ‘competition and regulation in healthcare’, ‘quality and efficiency in healthcare’ and ‘healthcare management’. ESHPM has about 175 employees. The position offered is within the department of Socio-Medical Sciences. The department of Socio-Medical Sciences within ESHPM addresses socio-medical themes based on disciplines of psychology, sociology, and epidemiology, focusing on as patients’ experiences, quality of care, and workforce challenges. Other topics addressed include the consequences of care provision and care reform for health and well-being of vulnerable groups in health care settings (i.e., nurses and physicians) and society (including vulnerable elderly, older migrants, youth with chronic conditions, people with an intellectual disability, the chronically ill, and low socioeconomic status groups).

Met een open blik op de wereld en met aandacht voor diversiteit van achtergronden en opvattingen werken onze wetenschappers en onderzoekers, docenten, studenten en professionals nauw samen aan het oplossen van maatschappelijke vraagstukken. Dit doen we onder het motto Making Minds Matter, wat staat voor onze ambities.
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