sheMD Journal Club

Where Are The Women?

The Underrepresentation of Women Physicians Among Recognition Award Recipients From Medical Specialty Societies.


Medical societies provide career and leadership development opportunities for physicians. Prior to this study, a gap had been seen in PM&R and physiatry in terms of awards given by medical societies, with women receiving less awards than expected based on the proportion of women practicing in the specialty. This study looked at underrepresentation of female physicians compared with their presence in the specific field across a variety of fields. In other words, they compared the percent of women receiving awards to the percent of women practicing in that specific specialty. They included dermatology, neurology, orthapedics, otolaryngoloty, PM&R, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, physiatry and anesthesiology in the study.

 

The study found noticeable underrepresentation of women physicians when compared to the percent of women in active practice or compared to the percent of women in accredited resident/fellowship programs nationally.

We, as SheMDs, should be aware that this discrepancy exists. We should actively work to be involved in our medical societies, taking on committee chair positions, nominating one another for achievement awards, and working to promote gender equity. Our #HeForSheMD’s can also work to promote women in their medical societies and choose women that are well-deserving of awards or leadership positions in order to move the needle on equality.

To read the full study, click here

References:

Silver JK, Slocum CS, Bank AM, et al. Where Are the Women? The Underrepresentation of Women Physicians Among Recognition Award Recipients From Medical Specialty Societies. PM&R. 2017;9(8):804-815. doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.06.001