Proportion of Women Among Academic Grand Rounds Speakers Well Short of Workforce Numbers

HealthDay News — Women seem to be underrepresented among academic grand rounds (GR) speakers, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Julie R. Boiko, MD, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues surveyed GR speaker series in clinical specialties and categorized speakers by trainee status, institutional affiliation, and gender. They compared the percentages of female speakers with workforce demographics.

Nine specialties met the inclusion criteria. The researchers found that women presented a median of 28.3% of the total sessions, ranging from 20% to 60.3%. Trainee-delivered sessions, which made up 2.3% to 24.1% of the total sessions, displayed comparable female and male speaker representation. 

Female representation ranged from 19.6% to 53.3% among sessions delivered by faculty or other nontrainees (median, 26.2%). When total nontrainee female speaker percentages were normalized to workforce demographic female percentages, the median ratios were 0.56, 0.61, and 0.79 for medical students, residents, and faculty, respectively.

“Women’s representation among academic GR speakers falls below the percentage of female medical students (46.7%) and residents (46% overall) and often falls lower than faculty (36% overall),” the researchers write. “Representation of women at GR podiums reflects and potentially contributes to limited female retention in academic medicine.”




Boiko JR, Anderson AJM, Gordom RA. Representation of women among academic grand rounds speakers [published online March 6, 2017]. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9646