In 2013, 32 percent of the physician workforce was female, according to the most recent data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). However, that number appears poised to take a leap forward very soon. That’s because AAMC data also show that 47 percent of current medical students are women, as are 46 percent of residents. Eliza Chin, MD, executive director of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), which advocates for gender equity in medicine, has been eagerly awaiting this bump, “For about eight years or so we’ve been at close to 50 percent of female medical students,” Chin says. “Four years of medical school, three to five years in a residency, maybe a fellowship.” Given that, she would expect the percentage of female physicians to rise above one-third right about now. As women physicians start to make up a larger portion of the medical field, will the work practices start to change?
Gayle Bennett, Freelance Writer, Washington, DC