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Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Feb;100(2):259-64.

Gender disparity in the practice of gastroenterology: the first 5 years of a career.

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The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.



Despite an unprecedented demand for gastroenterology services, the number of gastroenterology trainees has decreased over 50% since 1993. Women comprise nearly 50% of the U.S. medical school student population; yet only occupy 16% of gastroenterology fellowship positions. In order to recruit the best candidates to gastroenterology we must be able to demonstrate the attractiveness of a career in the field. A prospective study was performed to identify the career choices of graduates from gastroenterology fellowship programs using a prospective study model and to identify whether gender differences exist in the practice of gastroenterologists up to 5 yr after completion of training.


A survey gathering information on demographics, practice pattern, and income was mailed to two cohorts of gastroenterology fellows 3 and 5 yr after graduation.


A total of 247 subjects completed the 3 yr and 220 subjects responded to the 5-yr survey. At 3 yr, men reported higher income (p < 0.001), worked longer hours per week (p < 0.002), and were more likely to be part owner of the practice (p= 0.027). Females reported fewer children (p < 0.007), lower board certification rates (p < 0. 002), worked for larger, multispecialty practices (p < 0.001), and practiced more internal medicine. These differences were still present at 5 yr into gastroenterology practice.


Significant differences in practice type, earnings, board certification, professional standing, and alterations in family planning are noted between male and female gastroenterologists in the initial 5 yr of their practice.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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