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Why are women excluded from medical society awards?

Women are substantially underrepresented among recipients of medical society awards, which are often part of the path to career advancement.

Not long ago, I received a cellphone photo of a brochure showing a medical society’s annual award recipients. The two female physicians who snapped the photo did so because all nine of the recipients were men.

Where are the women?

With several colleagues, I have been studying the gender of medical society award recipients to understand what it says about women in medicine and how they navigate the medical society landscape, which is often part of the path to career advancement.

We first looked at recipients of physician recognition awards in a medical society I belong to, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Women . The gaps were greatest for the most prestigious awards, especially those associated with lectureships — in are women and this has been true for decades. Of those in academia, approximately 41 percent are women.

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