Cardiology hasn't made much progress on gender equity over past decade

For every female cardiologist, there are roughly four more male cardiologists — a gender ratio that has improved only slightly since 2007-08, according to a study published in the journal Circulation.

Based on data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, researchers found just 21.4 percent of adult cardiology trainees were women in 2017-18. Ten years prior, 15.9 percent were women, showing only "modest" improvement, researchers note.

Female representation was even lower in some subspecialties: 10.2 percent of interventional cardiology trainees were women in 2017-18 and 11.6 percent of electrophysiology trainees were women.

Some cardiology subspecialties had more gender parity: 31.2 percent of trainees in advanced heart failure/transplantation were women and 46.7 percent of adult congenital heart disease trainees were women. Pediatric cardiology had also shown substantial improvement over the past decade, from 39 percent women to 51.9 percent women in 2017-18.

The study did not investigate the origins of this underrepresentation but notes that hypotheses include implicit biases and microaggressions that may create a negative training climate and the lack of female role models.  

Suggested interventions included:

  • More mentoring and volunteering programs targeted at women  
  • More networking opportunities and travel grants to cardiology conferences for women
  • More flexible and transparent family medical leave policies
  • Non-sex-biased funding opportunities
  • Gender balance on editorial boards of scientific journals
  • Gender diversity among speakers at conferences

Read more here.

More articles on integration and physician issues:

Older patients who can't make own decisions stress out 42% of physicians
Female, nonwhite, homosexual medical students report more mistreatment, study finds
Colorado med school's 'parenting elective' cuts new mom, dad stress for pediatric residents

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