Investigating Gender Disparities in Internal Medicine Residency Awards
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Background: Significant gender disparities persist in career advancement for physicians. Studies have highlighted the lack of female representation in awards from both academic institutions and professional societies; these awards play a role in promotions, making them a fundamental building block of success.
Objectives: We aim to explore the gender breakdown among resident awards presented by several Internal Medicine residency programs across the United States in this pilot study. Our ultimate goals are to define disparities in award selection, determine what variables contribute to these disparities, and work to mitigate these variables.
Methods/Research: We generated a survey in REDCap to collect retrospective data about resident award selection from academic Internal Medicine residency programs across the country. This survey gathered awards data from 2009-2019 and included variables such as gender breakdown of the program, gender of resident award recipients, and details about how awards are selected. Eight programs completed the survey; these programs were from six different states in various geographic regions. Overall 43.1 percent of residents were female. Across all residency programs and years, there were 51 distinct resident awards with 290 (39.7%) female winners. Of the 51 distinct awards, there were 10 which were awarded to female residents with the same or higher frequency as males; 6 of these mentioned words that have been differentially associated with women in medicine such as “ambulatory,” “community,” “compassion,” and “humanism.” In the 41 awards favoring males, there was only a single mention of the word “compassion,” and no mention of the others.
Conclusions/Impact: This data shows a concerning disparity in gender of award winners. In the future we will collect data from more residency programs and perform a thorough investigation of selection mechanisms that may help mitigate bias in order to ultimately propose strategies to reduce these gender disparities.
Hannon, MD, M.; Duffey, K.; Bharel, S; Greidinger, A.; Stewart, E.; and Diemer, G., "Investigating Gender Disparities in Internal Medicine Residency Awards" (2020). Sex and Gender Health Education Summit 2020 – Virtual Meeting. 8.