Closing the gender gap


A 2015 study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine found that just 16% of university hospital medicine divisions were led by women, and women made up just 28% of those physicians leading general internal medicine divisions. Meanwhile, female hospitalists gave just 26% of presentations at national meetings, were first authors on only 33% of publications, and were senior authors on only 21% of manuscripts.3

Dr. Jeanne Farnan of the University of Chicago

Dr. Jeanne Farnan

“Hospital medicine has been a very male-dominated movement,” said Dr. Farnan, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. “Its leaders and giants are all men, so the idea that this was going to be breaking barriers was naiveté.”

In addition, Dr. Farnan and Dr. Arora wrote in their review, another recent survey of female physicians – primarily internists – found that 36% reported discrimination based on pregnancy, maternity leave, or breastfeeding. This was – at least in part, Dr. Farnan said – because “physician-mothers were not present at the table when discussions were held about scheduling.”

And while hospitalists have relatively flexible schedules, they can be unforgiving when it comes to traditional child care arrangements, Dr. Arora said.

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