2019 was a big year for women in medicine. For the first time ever, women made up the majority of medical school students, by 1.1%!
While it’s amazing that women have made such large strides over the last few decades (in 1975, women made up only 22.4% of the medical student population and in 2000, 45.6%), we still have a long way to go. Here’s why:
- Despite the increasing number of female medical students, only 36% of practicing physicians are women.
- Female physicians are still paid 26% less on average than their male peers.
- There are still significantly less women faculty members at medical schools (39% full time faculty, 32% professors, and 16% departmental chairs).
- Women make up only 15% of orthopedic surgeons, 18% neurosurgeons, and 15% of interventional radiologists.
- Women are less likely to be chosen as speakers for continuing education.
All this in spite of the fact that female doctors achieve patient outcomes as good or better than male doctors. For example, there are no statistical differences in patient mortality rates between men and women physicians or in prescription drug expenditures, office visits, or hospital use. Additionally, studies have found that women doctors are more likely to follow clinical guidelines and provide more preventative care than their male counterparts, and women doctors have also been found to use more patient-centered communication, which is linked to better patient outcomes in many cases.
In conclusion, 2019 was great for women in medicine, but let’s strive to make 2020 even better!
Next Level Urgent Care is proudly woman-owned and operated by Juliet Breeze, MD.
Statistics gathered from: