Duke University Study Finds a Huge Gender Gap in Cardiology

A new study by researchers at Duke University and presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association found that women are vastly underrepresented in the field of cardiology.

The study found that women make up about 12 percent of all cardiologists. This is particularly low considering that women now make up almost half of all medical school graduates. More than 90 percent of male cardiologists work full-time. But one in five women cardiologists are employed on a part-time basis.

The study also found that women tended to specialize in general, non-invasive cardiology, whereas men were more than three times as likely as women to specialize in interventional subspecialties. As a result, male cardiologists tended to make more money than women in the field, an average of $100,000 more per year. But the data also showed that for men and women cardiologists in the same specialty, men made about $32,000 more.

douglasPamela Douglass, Geller Professor of Research in Cardiovascular Diseases at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and senior author of the study, said that “cardiology needs to be welcoming to women. One way to do this is to acknowledge these differences and work toward correcting them.”

Dr. Douglass added that “we as a profession are not having full access to our ‘talent pool’ of qualified internal medicine residents. That becomes a business and health care issue, as we increasingly recognize the importance of diversity among providers to optimizing patient care.”

Professor Douglass is a graduate of Princeton University and the medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a past president of the American Society of Echocardiography and the American College of Cardiology.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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