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AMA: Gender Inequality Still Exists in Medicine

Last Updated: November 21, 2014.

Gender inequality still exists in medicine, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

FRIDAY, Nov. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Gender inequality still exists in medicine, according to an article published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

A 2013 recipient of the AMA Foundation's Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women, Juliet Lee, M.D., from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., and colleagues surveyed women chief residents in surgery, emergency medicine, and internal medicine.

Women hold lower academic positions than men; although more women are entering academic medicine than men, they are not advancing at the same rate. The researchers found the following to be applicable to women who previously served as chief residents: (1) education and teaching were the main reasons for choosing their current position; (2) reasons for leaving academic medicine were due to professional, not personal, considerations; (3) women had inadequate mentorship, were uncomfortable talking to superiors, and were uncertain how to meet the criteria for promotion; and (4) challenges in the field still exist, including backlash, unclear policies, and lack of role models. Things that need to be changed include salary equality, protected time for administrative or scholarly activities, and alternative promotion pathways.

"Even in 2014, sexism exists in medicine," Lee said, according to the article. "It's not as overt as in the past, but this undercurrent of gender inequality affects salary, benefits, career advancement, and satisfaction."

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