Recommendations developed on gender equity in medicine
Renee Butkus and colleagues on the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians (ACP) discuss the unique challenges that female physicians face over the course of their careers. Recommendations were developed to improve gender equity.
The researchers note that in 2015, females made up more than one-third (34 percent) of the active physician workforce, and more than half of all medical students were women. Among other recommendations, the ACP affirms that "physician compensation should be equitable; based on comparable work at each stage of physicians' professional careers in accordance with their skills, knowledge, competencies, and expertise; and not based on characteristics of personal identity, including gender."
The ACP also supports transparency and routine assessments of physician compensation arrangements for all organizations employing physicians. In addition, the ACP supports the goal of universal access to family and medical leave policies; these policies should ensure that all employees have increased flexibility to care for family members. Steps should be taken to increase the number of women in practice, faculty, and leadership positions. Further research is needed to examine gender pay inequality and barriers to career advancement as well as practices to close these gaps.
"A concerted effort must be made to eliminate the imbalance in compensation and career advancement opportunities and provide a more inclusive environment to realize the full potential of all physicians in the workforce," the authors write.
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