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The Advancement of Women in Academic Medicine

Jane Green Schaller, MD
JAMA. 1990;264(14):1854-1855. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450140076037.
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THE FIRST known woman medical graduate in the United States, Elizabeth Blackwell, surmounted numerous difficulties and graduated from Geneva Medical College, New York, about 1850. Over the next 120 years, few women followed her. Since the 1970s, however, the number of women entering medicine has burgeoned, so that in the academic year 1989-1990, 38% of entrants and 33.9% of graduates of US medical schools were women.1-3 In 1988 residency training groups, 49% of pediatric residents were women, 46% of obstetrics and gynecology residents, 39% of psychiatry residents, 30% of family practice residents, and 26% of internal medicine residents.1 A smaller proportion of women have been trained in surgery or the various surgical specialties. There is no evidence to support the often expressed fears that women will either practice significantly fewer hours or drop out of professional activities more often than do men.3 A number of women now


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