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Opinion: Abundant research shows gender disparities in medicine, but too few know about it. #NeedHerScience

Editors of medical journals can help disseminate research on gender disparities in medicine with a relatively simple deed: making such research freely available to everyone. #NeedHerScience

Medicine has an abundance of highly trained and qualified women. So why are there so few of them at the highest levels, including full professors, chairs, and deans?

For many years, the belief was that when there were enough women in medicine, critical mass alone would correct such gender disparities. Yet this theory has not panned out and it is now clear that despite the fact  there are many qualified women for any given leadership position, they are not promoted equitably.

Dr. Keith Lillemoe summed it up nicely during his presidential address to the American Surgical Association when he said, “The number of outstanding, qualified female candidates is more than adequate to fill every open surgical leadership position in America today. The problem is not the pipeline — it is the process.”

Slow progress in gender equity isn’t limited to medicine, of course. It is universal, which is why that her

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