Gender Equity within Medical Specialties of Australia and New Zealand

Cardiology’s Outlier Status

Sonya Burgess, Elizabeth Shaw, Katherine A. Ellenberger, Louise A. Segan, Anastasia Vlachadis Castles, Sinjini Biswas, Liza Thomas, Sarah Zaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background Gender disparity remains a prominent medical workforce issue extending beyond surgical specialties to many physician specialties with low proportions of female doctors. We examined female representation within Australia and New Zealand (NZ) amongst physician specialties and certain select comparator surgical specialties. Our particular focus was on cardiology, an outlier for workforce gender equality. Methods Data for practicing medical specialists, new consultants and trainees were sought from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the Medical Council of NZ and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (2015‐2017). The stratified data pertaining to interventional cardiologists was obtained through direct contact with individual hospitals (from 2017‐2018) and derived from state‐based cardiac registries. Results In Australia and NZ there were fewer female practicing adult medicine physician consultants (n=8,956, 32%, p<0.001) with gender disparities seen across most physician specialties. Cardiology (15%) was the only physician specialty with <20% representation; gastroenterology (23%), neurology (27%) and respiratory medicine (29%) had <30% female representation at consultant level. Cardiology (15%) and interventional cardiology (5%) rates, were similar to general surgery (15%) and orthopedics (4%). Although more than half of physician trainees are female, and most physician specialties are approaching or have equal gender ratios at the trainee level, cardiology (23%) and interventional cardiology (9%) remain significantly underrepresented. Conclusions Cardiology is the only physician specialty that with <20% female consultants and this disparity is reflected throughout every stage of the cardiology training program. Increased awareness and proactive strategies are needed to improve gender disparity within this under‐represented medical specialty.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Jun 2019

Cite this

Burgess, Sonya ; Shaw, Elizabeth ; Ellenberger, Katherine A. ; Segan, Louise A. ; Castles, Anastasia Vlachadis ; Biswas, Sinjini ; Thomas, Liza ; Zaman, Sarah. / Gender Equity within Medical Specialties of Australia and New Zealand : Cardiology’s Outlier Status. In: Internal Medicine Journal. 2019.
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title = "Gender Equity within Medical Specialties of Australia and New Zealand: Cardiology’s Outlier Status",
abstract = "Background Gender disparity remains a prominent medical workforce issue extending beyond surgical specialties to many physician specialties with low proportions of female doctors. We examined female representation within Australia and New Zealand (NZ) amongst physician specialties and certain select comparator surgical specialties. Our particular focus was on cardiology, an outlier for workforce gender equality. Methods Data for practicing medical specialists, new consultants and trainees were sought from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the Medical Council of NZ and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (2015‐2017). The stratified data pertaining to interventional cardiologists was obtained through direct contact with individual hospitals (from 2017‐2018) and derived from state‐based cardiac registries. Results In Australia and NZ there were fewer female practicing adult medicine physician consultants (n=8,956, 32{\%}, p<0.001) with gender disparities seen across most physician specialties. Cardiology (15{\%}) was the only physician specialty with <20{\%} representation; gastroenterology (23{\%}), neurology (27{\%}) and respiratory medicine (29{\%}) had <30{\%} female representation at consultant level. Cardiology (15{\%}) and interventional cardiology (5{\%}) rates, were similar to general surgery (15{\%}) and orthopedics (4{\%}). Although more than half of physician trainees are female, and most physician specialties are approaching or have equal gender ratios at the trainee level, cardiology (23{\%}) and interventional cardiology (9{\%}) remain significantly underrepresented. Conclusions Cardiology is the only physician specialty that with <20{\%} female consultants and this disparity is reflected throughout every stage of the cardiology training program. Increased awareness and proactive strategies are needed to improve gender disparity within this under‐represented medical specialty.",
author = "Sonya Burgess and Elizabeth Shaw and Ellenberger, {Katherine A.} and Segan, {Louise A.} and Castles, {Anastasia Vlachadis} and Sinjini Biswas and Liza Thomas and Sarah Zaman",
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month = "6",
day = "18",
doi = "10.1111/imj.14406",
language = "English",
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Gender Equity within Medical Specialties of Australia and New Zealand : Cardiology’s Outlier Status. / Burgess, Sonya; Shaw, Elizabeth; Ellenberger, Katherine A.; Segan, Louise A.; Castles, Anastasia Vlachadis ; Biswas, Sinjini; Thomas, Liza; Zaman, Sarah.

In: Internal Medicine Journal, 18.06.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Gender Equity within Medical Specialties of Australia and New Zealand

T2 - Cardiology’s Outlier Status

AU - Burgess, Sonya

AU - Shaw, Elizabeth

AU - Ellenberger, Katherine A.

AU - Segan, Louise A.

AU - Castles, Anastasia Vlachadis

AU - Biswas, Sinjini

AU - Thomas, Liza

AU - Zaman, Sarah

PY - 2019/6/18

Y1 - 2019/6/18

N2 - Background Gender disparity remains a prominent medical workforce issue extending beyond surgical specialties to many physician specialties with low proportions of female doctors. We examined female representation within Australia and New Zealand (NZ) amongst physician specialties and certain select comparator surgical specialties. Our particular focus was on cardiology, an outlier for workforce gender equality. Methods Data for practicing medical specialists, new consultants and trainees were sought from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the Medical Council of NZ and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (2015‐2017). The stratified data pertaining to interventional cardiologists was obtained through direct contact with individual hospitals (from 2017‐2018) and derived from state‐based cardiac registries. Results In Australia and NZ there were fewer female practicing adult medicine physician consultants (n=8,956, 32%, p<0.001) with gender disparities seen across most physician specialties. Cardiology (15%) was the only physician specialty with <20% representation; gastroenterology (23%), neurology (27%) and respiratory medicine (29%) had <30% female representation at consultant level. Cardiology (15%) and interventional cardiology (5%) rates, were similar to general surgery (15%) and orthopedics (4%). Although more than half of physician trainees are female, and most physician specialties are approaching or have equal gender ratios at the trainee level, cardiology (23%) and interventional cardiology (9%) remain significantly underrepresented. Conclusions Cardiology is the only physician specialty that with <20% female consultants and this disparity is reflected throughout every stage of the cardiology training program. Increased awareness and proactive strategies are needed to improve gender disparity within this under‐represented medical specialty.

AB - Background Gender disparity remains a prominent medical workforce issue extending beyond surgical specialties to many physician specialties with low proportions of female doctors. We examined female representation within Australia and New Zealand (NZ) amongst physician specialties and certain select comparator surgical specialties. Our particular focus was on cardiology, an outlier for workforce gender equality. Methods Data for practicing medical specialists, new consultants and trainees were sought from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the Medical Council of NZ and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (2015‐2017). The stratified data pertaining to interventional cardiologists was obtained through direct contact with individual hospitals (from 2017‐2018) and derived from state‐based cardiac registries. Results In Australia and NZ there were fewer female practicing adult medicine physician consultants (n=8,956, 32%, p<0.001) with gender disparities seen across most physician specialties. Cardiology (15%) was the only physician specialty with <20% representation; gastroenterology (23%), neurology (27%) and respiratory medicine (29%) had <30% female representation at consultant level. Cardiology (15%) and interventional cardiology (5%) rates, were similar to general surgery (15%) and orthopedics (4%). Although more than half of physician trainees are female, and most physician specialties are approaching or have equal gender ratios at the trainee level, cardiology (23%) and interventional cardiology (9%) remain significantly underrepresented. Conclusions Cardiology is the only physician specialty that with <20% female consultants and this disparity is reflected throughout every stage of the cardiology training program. Increased awareness and proactive strategies are needed to improve gender disparity within this under‐represented medical specialty.

U2 - 10.1111/imj.14406

DO - 10.1111/imj.14406

M3 - Article

JO - Internal Medicine Journal

JF - Internal Medicine Journal

SN - 1444-0903

ER -