Gender dynamics in education and practice of gastroenterology

Post written by Loren Galler Rabinowitz, MD, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA.


This study focuses on the impact of gender dynamics on teaching and learning endoscopic skills as well as on gastroenterologists’ experiences in the endoscopy suite. 

As more women join the field of gastroenterology, the female trainee and male teacher dyad has become increasingly common in the endoscopy suite. Additionally, gender dynamics among gastroenterologists and ancillary endoscopy suite staff may impact endoscopic teaching, learning, and performance.

In this survey study, we aimed to understand of the role of gender in endoscopic education and in the practice of endoscopy–specifically, the impact of gender on interactions between attendings and fellows, perceptions of skill acquisition, and methods of instruction (specifically tactile or hands-on instruction). We also hoped to describe current perceptions of physicians and endoscopy suite staff including nurses, technicians, and industry representatives.

Our study found that fewer women than men were trained using tactile instruction during endoscopy despite a majority of physicians feeling it was an important and effective method of learning. A majority of women gastroenterologists reported experiencing gender bias toward themselves during training (57%) as well as in their current careers (50.0%). Additionally, 75.9% of women reported that men were treated more favorably in their endoscopy unit, whereas 70.5% of men felt that male and female gastroenterologists were treated equally in the same suite.

Inequities exist with regard to the experience of men and women in gastroenterology. Specific challenges for women may have an impact on their career choices and ability to safely and effectively learn, teach, and practice endoscopy.

We hope these results will guide interventions to improve both endoscopic education and the environment in the endoscopy suite in order to support equitable learning and practicing environments for both women and men in gastroenterology.


Figure 1. Self-perceived gender bias toward gastroenterologists by institution type.


Read the full article online.

The information presented in Endoscopedia reflects the opinions of the authors and does not represent the position of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). ASGE expressly disclaims any warranties or guarantees, expressed or implied, and is not liable for damages of any kind in connection with the material, information, or procedures set forth.

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