Women less likely to be academic grand rounds speakers than men

March 6, 2017, University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Women are less likely than men to be chosen as speakers during grand rounds, the academic mainstay of expert-delivered lectures used to share patient-care guidelines and cutting-edge research within clinical departments. Those findings by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine were published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Despite women comprising 47 percent of medical students, 46 percent of residents and 36 percent of faculty nationwide, only 26 percent of grand rounds speakers were women. Across clinical specialties, grand rounds speakers were 44 percent less likely than , 39 percent less likely than residents, and 21 percent less likely than faculty to be women. Additionally, speakers invited from outside institutions were less likely to be women than those invited to speak at grand rounds from among an institution's own personnel.

"The people at the podiums do not resemble the people in the audience," said Julie Boiko, M.D., M.S., who led the study while a medical student at the Pitt School of Medicine. "While gender representation and equality in medicine has been an important area of student discussion in recent years, this is the first time we have data to support that there may be a gender bias in speaker selection at academic grand rounds."

Data for the JAMA research letter was collected from nine major clinical specialties and 79 medical schools and academic hospitals. In total, researchers analyzed more than 200 grand rounds websites and calendar listings for speaker series, as well as more than 7,000 individual sessions for speaker gender and institutional affiliations.

As follow up to this study, researchers plan to identify specific factors associated with having greater gender balance on grand rounds speaker rosters.

"We were surprised by the consistency of this underrepresentation across most specialties and the discovery that speakers invited from outside a given institution are less likely to be women than speakers invited from within the institution," said Alyce Anderson, coauthor of the study and an M.D./Ph.D. candidate at the Pitt School of Medicine. "With this data, speaker planning committees, departments and institutions can strive for representation that approximates that of individual clinical specialties' faculty and/or trainees. Such efforts may have a positive effect on retaining women in the academic medical workforce."

Explore further: Ob-gyn lags in placing women in department leadership

Related Stories

Ob-gyn lags in placing women in department leadership

February 23, 2016
(HealthDay)—Compared with other clinical specialties, obstetrics and gynecology is behind in progressing women to departmental leadership, according to research published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Gender-specific variation in medical specialties

March 17, 2015
(HealthDay)—Medical specialties vary by gender, with obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics dominated by female residents and specialties such as surgery, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology dominated by males, according ...

Men with moustaches outnumber women in medical leadership

December 16, 2015
Men with moustaches significantly outnumber women in academic medical leadership positions in the top medical schools across the US, finds a study published in The BMJ Christmas issue this week.

Female physicians at public medical schools paid an average of 8 percent less than males

July 11, 2016
In what is probably the largest study of salary differences between male and female medical school faculty members, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) find that - even after ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover how young children seem to run around all day without getting tired

April 24, 2018
Children not only have fatigue-resistant muscles, but recover very quickly from high-intensity exercise—even faster than well-trained adult endurance athletes. This is the finding of new research published in open-access ...

Drinking affects mouth bacteria linked to diseases

April 24, 2018
When compared with nondrinkers, men and women who had one or more alcoholic drinks per day had an overabundance of oral bacteria linked to gum disease, some cancers, and heart disease. By contrast, drinkers had fewer bacteria ...

Vigorous physical activity may be linked to heightened risk of motor neurone disease

April 23, 2018
Vigorous physical activity, either in leisure time or in work, may be linked to a heightened risk of developing motor neurone disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS for short, suggests research published ...

Fetal exposure to moderate/high caffeine levels linked to excess childhood weight gain

April 23, 2018
Exposure to moderate to high caffeine levels while in the womb is linked to excess weight gain in early childhood, suggests a large observational study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Alcohol intake may be linked to premenstrual syndrome

April 23, 2018
Drinking alcohol may be linked to pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS for short, suggests a pooled analysis of published study data in the online journal BMJ Open.

Suicide and homicide rates show large racial disparities across US states

April 23, 2018
Southern and Western states have the highest rates of white firearm suicide, while Midwestern states have highest rates of black firearm homicide, according to new research from McGill University. The findings place a spotlight ...

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.