Radiology: a man’s world?

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 - Women Rads

Assuming the American College of Radiology’s latest workforce survey reflects the radiology specialty in toto, male radiologists practicing fulltime outnumber their female peers more than 8 to 2.  

Published in the February edition of JACR, the study drew responses from 426 group leaders representing 10,845 radiologists, or 35% of all practicing radiologists in the U.S.

The study’s authors, led by Edward Bluth, MD, of Ochsner Health in Louisiana, also found that women more often work part time in all practice types, are tapped far less frequently for leadership roles—and that not much has changed in these regards since ACR surveyed the field eight years ago.

Among the new survey’s findings likely to spur discussions near water coolers:

  • 85% of leadership positions—chair, president, vice chair, board member—are held by men.
  • 31% of women are in academic/university practices versus 18% of men.
  • The largest percentages of women radiologists work in the South and the Midwest.

Commenting on the higher percentage of women in academic settings, the authors speculate that the role of gender in this discrepancy may be secondary to the benefits of a flexible schedule that allows for childcare and other family responsibilities, or to a desire to contribute to the academic mission.” They state that other factors, such as hiring preferences at private practices, deserve further study. 

As for leadership, the authors say gender differences may reflect the fact that far more women work part time, cutting themselves off from consideration for leadership positions. 

The survey asked no questions related to salary or financial issues. “However, ” they write, financial parity is an area of great importance and will be further evaluated by the [ACR’s] Commission for Women and General Diversity.”

That internal subgroup, along with ACR’s Commission for Human Resources and the Commission for Women and General Diversity, will continue to explore the complexities of the education pipeline, hiring practices and salary issues.

“It is hoped that by understanding this information,” the authors write, “the specialty of radiology can be made more attractive to all who are deciding on a medical specialization.”

To access the full survey report, click here (subscription or purchase required).