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Women Physicians Are Underrepresented in Recognition Awards From the Association of Academic Physiatrists

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Abstract

Objective

Determine representation by gender for individual recognition awards presented to physicians by the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP).

Design

Cross-sectional survey was used. Lists of individual recognition award recipients for the 27-yr history of the AAP awards (1990–2016) were analyzed. The primary outcome measures were the total numbers of men versus women physician award recipients overall and for the past decade (2007–2016).

Results

No awards were given to women physicians for the past 4 yrs (2013–2016) or in half of the award categories for the past decade (2007–2016). No woman received the outstanding resident/fellow award since its inception (2010–2016). There was a decrease in the proportion of awards given to women in the past decade (2007–2016, 7 of 39 awards, 17.9%) as compared with the first 17 yrs (1990–2006, 10 of 46 awards, 21.7%). Furthermore, compared with their proportional membership within the specialty, women physicians were underrepresented for the entire 27-yr history of the AAP awards (1990–2016, 17 of 85 awards, 20%). According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the proportion of full-time female physical medicine and rehabilitation faculty members was 38% in 1992 and 41% in 2013.

Conclusions

Women physicians have been underrepresented by the AAP in recognition awards. Although the reasons are not clear, these findings should be further investigated.

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