CCMS Medicine Summer 2017 - 6

www.CHESTERCMS.org

Is There a

Gender Bias
in Medicine?
BY MIAN A. JAN, MD, FACC, FSCAI
PRESIDENT OF CHESTER COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY

I

was reading TIME magazine recently and came across
an article about the Supreme Court of the United States.
Authors analyzed Supreme Court's oral arguments from 2004
to 2015 and created a data set of all the interruptions by justices
and advocates; data revealed female judges were much more
frequently interrupted. Between 2011 and 2015 female judges
were interrupted three times more as compared to male judges. I
am not certain if that indicates a lack of respect for female judges
but inference was that it does. It started me thinking that if there
is a gender bias in the most respected group in the country, are we
also guilty in medicine?
I recall that when my wife Amber started her practice about
two decades ago, she would complain that when she walked
into a patient's room she was often asked if she was a nurse;
although nursing is a most honorable profession, the fact is, that
being a female puts you in a certain category. Although things
have changed and it's rare that this happens anymore, the data I
reviewed still shows bias against female doctors.
The most recent data revealed that there are 608,685 male and
313,874 female doctors in the USA. Another 749 were listed as
unspecified which I am not certain what that means, but let's say
those were gender unknown.

DR. MIAN ARSHAD JAN

A British Medical Journal article reviewed compensation by gender
and race, and the data revealed an annual compensation to be
* white male doctors 253,042 dollars
* black male doctors 188,230 dollars
* white female doctors 163,234 dollars
* black female doctors 152,784 dollars
It appears, at least in compensation, that there is a bias against
both minorities and female doctors, but more so against females.

6 CHESTER COUNT Y Medicine | SUMMER 2017


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