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Women Minorities Underrepresented in Cardiology Workforce

Women making gains in pediatric cardiology, but number of minorities remain low in adult, pediatric practice


MONDAY, Sept. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Female physicians remain underrepresented in adult cardiology, according to a study published online Sept. 11 in JAMA Cardiology.

Laxmi S. Mehta, M.D., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues used data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Medical Association, and the American Board of Internal Medicine (2006 and 2016) to assess the U.S. cardiology physician workforce (medical students, resident physicians, fellows, and cardiologists) by sex and race/ethnicity.

The researchers found that female physicians were underrepresented in adult general cardiology fellowships (21.5 percent) and procedural subspecialty fellowships (interventional cardiology, 9.8 percent; electrophysiology, 13.7 percent). There was a slight increase in the percentage of female adult cardiologists from 2006 through 2016 (8.9 to 12.6 percent). For pediatric residency positions, female physicians made up a disproportionately higher share (72.9 percent). There was a trend toward increasing numbers of female pediatric cardiology fellows (40.4 to 50.5 percent), resulting in an increase in the percentage of female pediatric cardiologists (27.1 to 34.0 percent). Although there was an increase over time, the percentages of members of underrepresented minority groups in adult and pediatric cardiology fellowships remained low (from 11.1 to 12.4 percent and from 7.7 to 9.9 percent, respectively). Members of underrepresented minorities made up <8 percent of practicing adult and pediatric cardiologists.

"Different strategies are needed to address the continuing lack of diversity in cardiology for underrepresented minority individuals and women," the authors write.

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