UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type

Article Postprint


Gender and Sexuality | Health and Medical Administration


PURPOSE: National medical specialty societies speak for their respective fields in policy debates, influence research, affect trainees' specialization decisions, provide career development opportunities, and confer awards and recognitions. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the gender demographics of society members and leaders.

METHOD: In 2016, the Group on Women in Medicine and Science (of the Association of American Medical Colleges) sought to characterize the gender of members and leaders of specialty societies from 2000-2015. This report provides descriptive data, including how many of the responding societies (representing each of 30 major medical specialties) had substantial ( > 10%) increases in women's representation among leadership between the first and second halves of the study period.

RESULTS: The average proportion of female full members in responding societies was 25.4% in 2005; 29.3% in 2015. The proportion of women serving as the highest-ranking elected leader between 2000-2015 in each specialty ranged from 0 to 37.5% (mean 15.8%). The mean proportion of women on governing boards ranged from 0 to 37.3% (mean of means, 18.8%) in 2000-07 and from 0 to 47.6% (mean of means, 25.2%) in 2008-2015. In 9 specialties, the mean percentage of women serving on governing boards increased by > 10% from the first to second half of the study period.

CONCLUSIONS: Although many women are full members of specialty societies, women still constitute a minority of leaders. This report establishes a baseline from which to evaluate the effect of societies' efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.


National medical specialty societies, gender demographics

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© 2020 by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Final accepted manuscript posted after 12 months with a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC) license as allowed by the publisher's policy at

DOI of Published Version



Acad Med. 2019 Oct 15. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003038. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges

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Link to Article in PubMed

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Thursday, October 15, 2020