Categories:  'Gender Inequality'  

In Medical School and at Work, Women Doctors Face Sexism

In medical school, residency, and throughout their careers, women doctors face both interpersonal and structural sexism. From "sexist banter" in the operating room to called [...]

In medical school, residency, and throughout their careers, women doctors face both interpersonal and structural sexism. From “sexist banter” in the operating room to called “girls” and mistaken for nurses, women medical students and doctors struggle against sexism every day – and this isn’t just a problem for women, it’s a problem for the field of medicine as a whole.

Even as more and more women become doctors, “studies estimate that between 30and 70 percent of female med-school faculty experience gender-based discrimination,” and other studies report that those who face gender discrimination in the workplace have lower career satisfaction. While men die by suicide at much higher rates than women, women physicians die by suicide at the same rate as male physicians.

As female medical students graduate from medical school and apply for residency, gender disparities become even clearer. “Just 12 percent of internal medicine department chairs nationally are women, … [and] of the 294 surgical department chairs across U.S. medical schools, only 1 percent are women.”

Women began graduating from medical school at rates equal to men almost two decades ago, but female physicians still don’t advance or get promoted like male physicians do – in fact, today women represent “46 percent of medical school applicants, students and residency trainees, but only 38 percent of medical school faculty, 21 percent of full professors and 16 percent of deans.”

Furthermore, women in the same positions as men still earn about 10% less than their male colleagues, even after researchers adjusted for factors that might influence income. “In some fields, like neurosurgery and cardiothoracic surgery, the discrepancy is as large as $44,000 a year. If you are a female full professor, you probably make the same salary as a male associate professor, despite outranking him.”

 

Image Credit: BigStock

Articles

Publication Date: 04/10/2016
Source: The Washington Post
Author: Allyson Herbst