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What’s Really Up with the Gender Disparity in Radiology?

Although the number of women in medicine is growing, the number of female radiologists remains stagnant. According to a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, there is a gender imbalance in academic radiology. The team of researchers surveyed 51 prominent academic radiology faculties and found that only 34 percent of academic radiologists are female, and of that group, only 25 percent are vice chairs or section chiefs and a mere nine percent serve as department chairs.

The researchers demand a need for an “active intervention” in order to remedy the imbalance. They encourage stronger mentorship for female radiologists who are just starting out and teaching medical students about the disparity in order to develop awareness of the disparity.

This isn’t the first time a study has determined a grave gender gap in radiology. In February 2015, researchers from The University of Queensland School of Medicine in New Orleans published a study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology that found a whopping 78 percent of radiologists in the U.S. are men. The also discovered the men made up 85 percent of full-time radiologists, while 46 of female radiologists worked part-time. Led by Edward I. Bluth, MD, the researchers also found that women radiologists are more likely to be working in academia (43 percent) than in private practice (31 percent). On the flip side, 58 percent of male radiologists work in private clinical settings in comparison with 18 percent practicing in academic environments.

“…it is possible that the number of female radiologists will increase as male colleagues retire,” wrote Bluth. Only time will tell. 

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