Post written by Audrey H. Calderwood, MD, MS, from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA.
Our study focuses on female representation among faculty of ASGE-sponsored courses. We evaluated different types of programs (eg, hands-on, first-year fellow, quality), program size by number of attendees, faculty role (eg, director, lecturer), and trends over time between 2009 and 2014.
We were very excited to work on this project because despite an increase in female representation in medicine (35% of first-year GI fellows are female), a gender gap persists in academic GI. Since national recognition is a critical component of academic advancement, we were interested in evaluating female representation among ASGE-sponsored courses. We had previously shown an increasing trend in ASGE committee appointments among women and that women applicants were more likely than men to be appointed to a committee, which was very encouraging.
Our study found that there has been a significant increase in the proportion of women serving as course faculty over time, from 15% in 2009 to 22% in 2014. Interestingly, women were more likely to serve in the capacity of course director than lecturer and to participate in smaller sized courses (<100 attendees). Next steps include examining the gender distribution of course faculty by academic rank, age, and practice setting, and also look at rates of offering and accepting of faculty positions. Future research should evaluate whether these opportunities for participation as course faculty translate into leadership roles or promotions for women over time.
Figure 1. Trend in female faculty representation in programming by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy over time (A) and by role as lecturer (B) and course director (C).
As a society, ASGE has proactively been working to increase diversity in all its endeavors. For example, under the direction of Dr. Colleen Schmitt, ASGE created the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program to provide women gastroenterologists of all backgrounds the opportunity to enhance and energize leadership skills. Brintha K. Enestvedt and I were both lucky to be part of the first LEAD Class, which lead to our collaboration on this project.
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