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Women under-represented in academic medicine

Date:
July 11, 2014
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
Women are under-represented in academic medicine resulting in a waste of public investment due to loss of research talent. a consequence of female under-representation, some areas of medicine are under-researched at a cost to patients and society. Discriminatory practices and unconscious bias, they say, continue to occur in academic medicine, despite a substantial fall in traditional discrepancies between men and women in medicine in recent years. The proportion of women entering medical school today is around 53%.
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Women are under-represented in academic medicine resulting in a waste of public investment due to loss of research talent. Writing in the July issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, authors of an essay on women and academic medicine say that as a consequence of female under-representation, some areas of medicine are under-researched at a cost to patients and society. Discriminatory practices and unconscious bias, they say, continue to occur in academic medicine, despite a substantial fall in traditional discrepancies between men and women in medicine in recent years. The proportion of women entering medical school today is around 53%.

"There has been a longstanding gender imbalance in clinical academia as well as laboratory-based basic medical sciences," said lead author Professor Jonathan Grant, Director of the Policy Institute at King's College London. "This inequality increases substantially with seniority, with women representing only 15% of professors in UK medical schools."

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, a co-author of the essay, said: "The lack of women participating in the clinical academic research system is likely to be implicitly biasing today's research agenda and, by consequence, tomorrow's clinical practice." She added: "The system needs to be reformed by medical schools improving the culture for and chances of women in clinical academia, through schemes such as Athena Swan. The adoption and embedding of gender neutral policies, for example flexible working, will be of benefit to all clinical academics whether women or men."


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Penny, R. Jeffries, J. Grant, S. C. Davies. Women and academic medicine: a review of the evidence on female representation. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2014; 107 (7): 259 DOI: 10.1177/0141076814528893

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SAGE Publications. "Women under-represented in academic medicine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711092240.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2014, July 11). Women under-represented in academic medicine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711092240.htm
SAGE Publications. "Women under-represented in academic medicine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711092240.htm (accessed August 28, 2015).

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