Women under-represented in academic medicine

July 10, 2014

Women are under-represented in academic medicine resulting in a waste of public investment due to loss of research talent. Writing in the July issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, authors of an essay on women and academic medicine say that as a consequence of female under-representation, some areas of medicine are under-researched at a cost to patients and society. Discriminatory practices and unconscious bias, they say, continue to occur in academic medicine, despite a substantial fall in traditional discrepancies between men and women in medicine in recent years. The proportion of women entering medical school today is around 53%.

"There has been a longstanding gender imbalance in clinical academia as well as laboratory-based basic medical sciences", said lead author Professor Jonathan Grant, Director of the Policy Institute at King's College London. "This inequality increases substantially with seniority, with women representing only 15% of professors in UK medical schools."

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, a co-author of the essay, said: "The lack of women participating in the clinical academic research system is likely to be implicitly biasing today's research agenda and, by consequence, tomorrow's clinical practice." She added: "The system needs to be reformed by medical schools improving the culture for and chances of women in clinical academia, through schemes such as Athena Swan. The adoption and embedding of gender neutral policies, for example flexible working, will be of benefit to all clinical academics whether or men."

Explore further: Gender stereotypes keep women in the out-group

More information: Women and academic medicine: a review of the evidence on female representation (DOI: 10.1177/0141076814528893) by Maryse Penny, Rosanna Jeffries, Jonathan Grant and Sally C. Davies will be published by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine on Friday 11 July 2014.

Related Stories

Gender stereotypes keep women in the out-group

May 29, 2014
Women have accounted for half the students in U.S. medical schools for nearly two decades, but as professors, deans, and department chairs in medical schools their numbers still lag far behind those of men. Why long-held ...

Women still being left out of medical research: report

March 3, 2014
(HealthDay)—Two decades after the passage of a landmark law mandating that women be represented in government-funded medical research, a new report reveals that the world of science is still ignoring women's unique health ...

Are there too many women in medicine?

November 30, 2011
In the UK, women doctors are set to outnumber their male counterparts by 2017. The press has dubbed the rise "worrying" and "bad for medicine" but in an editorial published by Student BMJ today, Maham Khan asks is medicine ...

Men and women use mental health services differently

June 26, 2014
Women with chronic physical illnesses are more likely to use mental health services than men with similar illnesses; they also seek out mental health services six months earlier than those same men, according to new study ...

Bacteria found in bladders of healthy women differ from those in women with incontinence

July 9, 2014
Bacteria found in the bladders of healthy women differ from bacteria in women with a common form of incontinence, according to researchers from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.