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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2020 Mar 3. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2019.8011. [Epub ahead of print]

Representation of Women Among Invited Speakers for Grand Rounds.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.


Background: Grand rounds and named lectureships are forums in academic medicine for sharing research, scholarly achievements, and clinical expertise. An invitation to speak at grand rounds is regarded as an honor and is part of the pathway to academic promotion. We describe gender representation relative to the national academic medical workforce among invited speakers at departmental grand rounds and annual named lectures at a large academic medical center. Materials and Methods: Lists of external speakers for grand rounds from 2015 through 2017 were obtained from 18 departments and for annual named lectures from 2007 to 2017 from 7 departments. Results: Of the 783 invited speakers to the 25 speaker series, there were 178 women (22.7%). The proportion of women speakers for departmental grand rounds ranged from 0% to 59.3%; representation of women speakers was lower than representation in their specialty in 14 of the 18 departments and significantly lower in 4 of the 18 departments. In four departments, there was a higher proportion of women than available in the specialty-specific academic medicine workforce. The proportion of women who spoke at annual named lectures was significantly lower in two of seven lecture series and ranged from 0% to 21.2%. Three departments had no women speakers. Conclusions: The underrepresentation of women as speakers is a potential target to improve gender representation and role modeling and provide equitable opportunity for academic advancement. Solutions may include formal diversity and inclusion training, intentional overrepresentation of invited female speakers, and inclusion of women on grand rounds planning committees.


diversity; gender bias; implicit bias; medical education


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