Background: Despite gender equality in medical school composition, gender-based disparities exist in multiple domains of healthcare, including: academic promotion tracks, leadership positions, scholarly production, and compensation. Patients also exhibit a gender bias, reporting a higher patient satisfaction with male physicians. However, some data suggests that women physicians actually deliver better outcomes. We sought to identify if gender disparities exist in colleagues perception of physician excellence, as measured by local ‘Top Docs’ lists.
Methods: We identified six cities in different regions of the United States that have ‘Top Docs’ lists published each year: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, and New York. We determined the gender of each physician on the list from 2018 within internal medicine. A [chi]2 test was used to compare the proportion of male versus female physician top docs, as compared to the nationally reported data of gender by specialty from the most recent Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) publication in 2015.
Results: 36.8% of internal medicine physicians nationally are female, as reported by the AAMC in 2015. In the six cities analyzed, 27.9% of the Top Docs in Internal Medicine were female (64 of 229). Four of the six cities had statistically significant higher numbers of male versus female Top Docs. Overall, the Odds Ratio of being named a Top Doc for male physicians was 1.6 (1.2 – 2.0, p = 0.0006).
Conclusions: Gender disparities exist within internal medicine, including within the national recognition of a ‘Top Doc’, a list voted upon by fellow physicians. In order to positively impact gender disparities within medicine, such as compensation, promotion and access to leadership positions, we need to first recognize our own biases within the healthcare profession, and within internal medicine specifically.
To cite this abstract:Gottenborg, E; Thayer, M; Keniston, A; Neumeier, A. TOP DOCS: THE GENDER GAP. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2019, March 24-27, National Harbor, Md. Abstract 123. https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/top-docs-the-gender-gap/. Accessed July 21, 2019.