Lancaster Physician Summer 2019 - 47

SUMMER 2019

Interim elections were recently held,
and a governing council representing 13
districts in Pennsylvania was selected along
with a chair and vice chair. The elected
representatives reflect a dynamic and
dedicated group of women who want to
be involved in creating meaningful change
for women in medicine. They represent
all parts of Pennsylvania. The influence
of women physicians continues to grow.
Nationally, 2017-2018 marked the first
time that there were more women than
men starting in medical school. Now, there
are more than 376,000 female physicians
and residents in the U.S.
In Pennsylvania, almost one-third of
all physicians are women. Over the past
ten years, Pennsylvania experienced a 43
percent increase in female physicians,
according to PAMED statistics. As our
numbers grow, our ability to impact change
will as well. There are now 14,620 female
licensed physicians in Pennsylvania, with
3,672 female residents/fellows, and 1,277
female medical students.
Lancaster County continues to see
growth in its women's physician population, too. There are currently 485
licensed female physicians out of 1,310
physicians. The Lancaster City and
County Medical Society has currently
nine women physicians on its board of
directors. These include: Chelsea Cambria, Stacey Denlinger, Sarah Eiser, Laura
Fisher, Bashirat Giwa, Robin Hicks, Lora
Regan, Karen Rizzo, and Kristy Whitman.
Our County medical society has actively
encouraged more female involvement. At
least two functions are now organized per
year to engage more female participation
locally. Breakfast events involving guest
speakers on financial planning, workplace
discrimination, negotiating skills, and
leadership development have all occurred.
Evening events, including networking at
local businesses such as jewelry stores and
upscale clothing stores, have also been a
great success. Future events may include
opportunities to bring daughters and sons
to networking events to allow them to
experience their mothers interacting in a
professional environment. These events

serve to promote comradery, support,
and highlight the importance of women
in the workforce.
The newly created WPS will address
ways to promote fairness for women physicians in the workplace, advocate for pay
parity, make maternity leave available to
all women in a way that does not penalize
them, and develop best practice maternity
guidelines that PAMED can promote to
physician employers. A task force has been
convened to help create those guidelines
and consists of female physicians from
throughout the state representing various
specialties and practice settings.
Many studies have been completed on
the pay disparity that exists today. In 2017,
Doximity, a social network for medical
professionals, surveyed 65,000 physicians
across 40 medical specialties. It found that
female physicians were paid 27 percent less
than male counterparts or an average of
$105,000 less per year. In a 2016 study of
10,000 university physicians, a pay gap was
also found for female physicians despite
controlling for experience, faculty rank,
specialty, research productivity, and clinical
volume. Surgical specialties demonstrated
the largest absolute adjusted sex differences in salary (JAMA Intern Med.2016;
176:1294-1304). Female surgeons are
paid less than male colleagues right out
of residency. Research funding also has
a gender gap, with women awarded less
money per NIH-funded grants than men
at both the assistant professor level and
at 10-20 years of experience. A study in
Lancet found the gender gap in research
funding could be attributed entirely to
the score of the scientist, not the science itself, with lower scores for female
applicants (Lancet.2019; 393:531-540).
Salary negotiations can be very complex
for women. Recent studies show women
are asking more frequently for raises but
still receiving them 25 percent less often
than men. Young females who want to
have children have to contend with lower
salaries as well as salaries calculated on
productivity that are not adjusted for
maternity leave.

LANCASTER

47

PHYSICIAN

The lack of women in leadership positions continues to be glaringly evident
in medicine. Of women who identify as
holding leadership positions in medicine,
less than 15 percent hold top spots as
department chairs, CEOs, and CMOs.

According to PAMED data:
4
6

percent are CEOs.

percent are
department chairs.

9

percent are
division chairs.

 15

percent are
practice partners.

 29

percent are
practice owners.

 40

percent are
medical directors.

 44

percent are
assistant professors.

As more women enter medicine, these
leadership numbers will improve, and more
women will serve as role models to help
younger female colleagues reach their goals.
The newly created WPS will also address
sexual harassment and discrimination
based on race and gender identity in the
workplace. It will expose how unconscious
bias and micro-aggressions impact workplace morale and contribute to a sense of
isolation, marginalization, and professional
Continued on page 48



Lancaster Physician Summer 2019

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