In the Journals

More women enrolling in internal medicine residencies, fewer in subspecialty fellowships

Photo of Mary Walsh
Mary Norine Walsh

Over a 25-year period, the number of women enrolled in internal medicine residencies increased, but the prevalence of women in subspecialty fellowships decreased, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Lack of gender diversity in the subspecialties of internal medicine could lead to differential treatment of patients,” Mary Norine Walsh, MD, MACC, medical director of heart failure and cardiac transplantation at St. Vincent Hospital and Heart Center, Indianapolis, told Healio Primary Care.

Walsh and colleagues reviewed enrollment data from 1991 to 2016 on the sex of physicians in internal medicine residency and subspecialty fellowships. They found that in 1991, 30.2% of all internal medicine residents and 33.3% of residents in subspecialty fellowships were women. Although the percentage of women increased to 43.2% among all internal medicine residents in 2016, the percentage of women in subspecialty fellowships dropped to 23.6%.

All subspecialties experienced growth in women fellows over time, but the rate of increase varied between specialties. For instance, the field of endocrinology had a rate of increase in women fellows that was 96% higher than the rate in cardiology.

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Over a 25-year period, the number of women enrolled in internal medicine residencies increased, but the prevalence of women in subspecialty fellowships decreased, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Within the subspecialties, the highest percentages of women enrolled were in geriatric medicine (76.9%) and endocrinology (71.3%), with the lowest percentages in cardiovascular disease (21.3%), pulmonary and critical care (32.6%) and nephrology (34.4%).

Walsh told Healio Primary Care that the American College of Cardiology has already made efforts to address gender inequality in the field.

For example, the ACC created a task force on diversity and inclusion and a Women in Cardiology Section — a part of their organization that “has a focus on networking, mentoring, leadership development and ensuring that medical students and internal medicine residents around the country have exposure to our field during their training,” she said.

In addition, the organization uses social media hashtags #WIC and #ILookLikeACardiologist to help show that women are practicing and enjoying their work in cardiology, Walsh said. – by Erin Michael

Disclosure: Walsh reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Photo of Mary Walsh
Mary Norine Walsh

Over a 25-year period, the number of women enrolled in internal medicine residencies increased, but the prevalence of women in subspecialty fellowships decreased, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Lack of gender diversity in the subspecialties of internal medicine could lead to differential treatment of patients,” Mary Norine Walsh, MD, MACC, medical director of heart failure and cardiac transplantation at St. Vincent Hospital and Heart Center, Indianapolis, told Healio Primary Care.

Walsh and colleagues reviewed enrollment data from 1991 to 2016 on the sex of physicians in internal medicine residency and subspecialty fellowships. They found that in 1991, 30.2% of all internal medicine residents and 33.3% of residents in subspecialty fellowships were women. Although the percentage of women increased to 43.2% among all internal medicine residents in 2016, the percentage of women in subspecialty fellowships dropped to 23.6%.

All subspecialties experienced growth in women fellows over time, but the rate of increase varied between specialties. For instance, the field of endocrinology had a rate of increase in women fellows that was 96% higher than the rate in cardiology.

#
Over a 25-year period, the number of women enrolled in internal medicine residencies increased, but the prevalence of women in subspecialty fellowships decreased, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Within the subspecialties, the highest percentages of women enrolled were in geriatric medicine (76.9%) and endocrinology (71.3%), with the lowest percentages in cardiovascular disease (21.3%), pulmonary and critical care (32.6%) and nephrology (34.4%).

Walsh told Healio Primary Care that the American College of Cardiology has already made efforts to address gender inequality in the field.

For example, the ACC created a task force on diversity and inclusion and a Women in Cardiology Section — a part of their organization that “has a focus on networking, mentoring, leadership development and ensuring that medical students and internal medicine residents around the country have exposure to our field during their training,” she said.

In addition, the organization uses social media hashtags #WIC and #ILookLikeACardiologist to help show that women are practicing and enjoying their work in cardiology, Walsh said. – by Erin Michael

Disclosure: Walsh reports no relevant financial disclosures.