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The Need for Better Representation of Female Physicians in the Healthcare Industry

Until this day, there are still many issues that female physician deal within the healthcare industry. The challenges they deal with include promotion and payment gaps to implicit bias and sexual harassment. Though there are similar numbers of women and men who graduate from medical schools, you still find that medical leaders only comprise a small fraction of female physicians. In the US alone, only 3% of chief medical officers are women, 3% are healthcare CEOs, 6% are department chairs, and 9% are division chiefs. These numbers remain the same even if 80% of the entire healthcare workforce comprises women. Moreover, these numbers remain the same even if evidence points out that both improved accountability and improved business performance are associated with having women on corporate boards and in upper management.

If you look at these numbers, you will learn that the healthcare system needs better female physician representation. Resolving gender issues in healthcare leadership, however, is a challenge with the many barriers that female physicians go through. Nonetheless, there are promising areas of the healthcare industry that would help women secure a higher spot. For the promotion of female physician leaders in the industry, there are priority areas that organizations should recognize.

Organizations must carefully assess specific areas in healthcare so female physicians will get equal leadership opportunities as male physicians in the industry. To make progress, healthcare organizations should assess how poorly or well women represent their leadership. They should also get a clear understanding of the experiences in the workplace of female physicians and how these compare to those of male physicians. Quantification is an essential component to improving gender gaps in the healthcare setting. For example, women should be recognized by organizations for their education and research advancements. Institutions may be eligible for gold, silver, or bronze awards from the organization depending on how well they satisfy the organization’s requirements. Institutions that get a silver award or higher often receive health research funding. What these efforts tell you is that there is now awareness in the industry of diversity and gender issues. These efforts can help catalyze cultural and structural changes and create financial and numerical incentives for change. In short, there is now more career support for female researchers.

Female physicians often find themselves having a hard time receiving major recognition and awards compared to their male counterparts. This has a direct impact on their promotions. With systematization, the organization applies equitable recognition of female and male achievement. According to research, gender gaps in terms of recognition exist during the early stages of the female physician’s career. You can help narrow these gender-biased gaps by offering systematic publicity and identification of their achievements. You can use this concept on a much more full scale. Systematizing appointment of physicians to committees, nomination for increased responsibility and leadership roles, and search processes are some other examples.

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