Summit Will Focus on Gender Equality in Pulmonary Academic Medicine

May 5, 2017 at 4:49 pm

About half of all medical students are women and women make up more than half of those entering PhD programs. And yet, only about one in five full professors at U.S. medical colleges are women, and even fewer are department chairs. A recent national survey also found a gender pay gap: female physicians make on average 26.5 percent less than men working in the same specialty with similar education, experience, and work schedules.

An ATS 2017 summit on gender equality will explore the reasons why disparities in professional opportunities and pay exist between men and women in academic medicine—and how these disparities might be addressed.

Organized by the Association of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Division Directors (APCCSD), the summit will take place on Friday, May 19.

“Many barriers impede equality in academic medicine—and lead to a loss of talent,” said Anne Dixon, MA, BM, BCh, a summit organizer and director of pulmonary disease and critical care medicine at the University of Vermont. “This summit will help us address these barriers for women in medicine now, and for those yet to come.”

Naftali Kaminski, MD, another conference organizer and chief of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at Yale, said, “Members of the Association of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Division Directors are perfectly positioned to address gender inequalities in our subspecialties.” The goal of the summit, he added, is to provide the ATS and its members “with the framework and tools to impact such change.”

Summit speakers and their topics include:

  • ATS member Kristin Riekert, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, “A Qualitative look at Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities in Addressing Gender Inequalities in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine.”
  • Carol Bates, MD, associate dean for faculty at Harvard Medical School, “Striving for Gender Equity in Academic Medicine Careers: Promotion and Leadership and What the Individual Can Do.”
  • Anupam Jena, MD, PhD, the Ruth L. Newhouse Associate Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, “Sex Differences in Physician Salary and Quality of Care in U.S. Public Medical Schools.”

There will also be a panel discussion led by ATS members who are medical school deans and chairs of medicine.

Summit participants will discuss these presentations and then break into smaller groups to focus on what individuals; divisions of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine; and professional medical societies, including the ATS; can do to help bring about gender pay equality. Recommendations and discussion from each of the groups will conclude the forum.

Carey Thomson, MD, another summit organizer and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine and associate chair of medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., said she hopes the summit will educate and support division leaders and ATS members who want to take “measurable action to provide a professional environment with equal support systems that will sustain personal and professional growth in their pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine divisions.”

If you would like more information about APCCSD and ATS efforts to promote gender equality and gender pay equity, please contact Eileen Larsson, ATS chief program officer, at elarsson@thoracic.org. You can follow APCCSD on Twitter @PCCSMChiefs.

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