More women physicians, but where are the writers?

An occasional snapshot of current facts and trends in medicine.

Quick View. Posted Aug. 28, 2006

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The number of women entering medicine has risen sharply in the past four decades, but women are still underrepresented in the top tiers of academic medicine.

Women now account for 25% of physicians practicing in the United States, and they claim 32% of full-time medical faculty positions. But a study in the New England Journal of Medicine also found a gender gap in publication of original medical research. The study doesn't delve into why this gap exists but suggests that women may be impeded by barriers early in their careers, diminishing the pool of female senior faculty in a position to author these articles.


The study counted the number of women who were first or senior authors of original articles appearing in six medical journals -- New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, Annals of Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Journal of Pediatrics -- and compared those percentages with the percentages of women who were U.S. medical students or professors.

Note: Data not available for all years

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, July 20

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