March 25, 2020
1 min read

Women and ethnic groups underrepresented in physical medicine and rehabilitation medical education

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Current gender and ethnic diversity trends show women and ethnic minorities are significantly underrepresented in the physical medicine and rehabilitation medical education, according to demographic research.

Researchers obtained self-reported gender records of members from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which comprised physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) applicants and current residents.

“Over the last 5 years, women comprised only 34.76% of PM&R applicants which was the fourth lowest percentage of the 11 specialties analyzed. On average, the total number of female PM&R applicants decreased by 4.35 annually compared to the 0.43 annual increase in male applicants (P< .001): This discrepancy in gender was five-times greater than the aggregate of the specialties examined when controlling for total residents,” according to the study abstract.

For the percentage of minorities in the specialty, 7.72% of applicants and 5.31% of current residents identified as Hispanic. Similarly, 8.28% of applicants and 5.28% of current residents identified as African American, according to the abstract.

The authors recommended women and minority groups should be a focus for recruiters in the specialty as, “studies have shown that race-concordant physician-patient relationships translate to improved patient outcomes and increased satisfaction with care.” -by Max R. Wursta



Dixon G, et al. Current trends in gender and ethnic diversity amongst prospective and current physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians. Presented at: International Society of Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine World Congress and Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting; March 4-9, 2020; Orlando.


Disclosure: Healio Orthopedics could not confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.