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    Progress for Women in Medicine Slow, but Significant

    Elaine Siegfried, M.D.Dr. SiegfriedMy childhood was guided by Donna Reed and June Cleaver, but I came of age under the influence of Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, when women were clamoring for change. By the time I completed my training, almost half of my professional colleagues were female. So I am impatiently annoyed that in the year 2016 women have not been as equally represented among the leaders in our field.

    But change is never easy or fast. From a historic perspective, it’s been only about a half-dozen generations since women were even allowed to train in medicine (initially at a segregated institution).  Opportunities for leadership have been even more recent. In 2016, 57% of college students are female but only 23% of all bachelor's and master's level institutions employ female presidents. That figure is higher for community colleges and Ivy League universities.1 Women also continue to lag behind men as lead authors in top medical journals, although those numbers are improving.2

     

    Next: Women in leadership: professional societies

    Elaine Siegfried, M.D.
    Elaine Siegfried, M.D., is professor of pediatrics and dermatology, Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, St. Louis, Mo. She ...

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