During the past two decades, the numbers of women in the medical profession, and particularly in pediatrics, have increased dramatically. Questions and comments about the potential impact of women in the field of pediatrics abound. What roles will women play in pediatrics? What impact will women pediatricians have on our chosen profession? What, if any, problems will women bring to pediatrics? And what strengths will women bring to pediatrics?
This issue of Pediatric Annals addresses some of these issues by exploring the history of women in pediatrics, the status of women in training and in pediatric faculties in academic institutions, the status of women in pediatric practice, some issues of young women in pediatrics, and some speculations about the future of women in pediatrics. We do all of this with the recognition that all medicine is now undergoing significant change occasioned by changes in science, in society, and in the economics of medicine and health care.
I am grateful to my coauthors Lisa Albers, Sarah Brotherton, Sherrie Kaplan, and Beverly Morgan for their valuable contributions, and to the many students and colleagues who have helped me consider these issues over the years. Special thanks to Janet Bickel of the Association of American Medical Colleges and James Stockman of the American Board of Pediatrics for their generosity in discussing and providing up-to-date data for these pages.