Diversity and Inclusion in Internal Medicine Training Programs: An Unfulfilled Dream
We explored the distribution of gender among residents in Internal Medicine over 12 years from 2007 to 2019 and the racial/ethnic distribution over eight years from 2011 to 2019. When averaged across the 12 years of the study period, almost 51% of all Internal Medicine residents were men while the representation of women was only 38%; these findings are consistent with those of previous studies [15,16]. In our study, female residents increased in proportion, and their representation increased from 36.7% in 2007 to 41% in 2019. These findings are consistent with existing literature, suggesting a dissatisfactory increase in the percentage of female residents in Internal Medicine [15,16].
Both male and female faculty share similar notions of being involved and dedicated about their work and have a similar inclination toward leadership positions. Yet, the confidence level about career advancement in females is not comparable to male physicians. Female physicians do not experience equivalent inclusion in the environment of academia . Discrepancies in mentoring, opportunities, or conscious or unconscious bias on the part of residents and faculty are the basis of the underrepresentation of women in internal medicine . Ely and Meyerson examined how organizational culture centers primarily on men’s needs and expectations. This study also suggested that the marginalization can also be a product of indigenous gender bias in both the implicit and explicit practices of the organization . Our findings are conclusive of similar patterns of gender inequity in internal medicine. Burgess et al. performed a study and revealed archetypal conditions for female physicians to be subject to stereotype threat, promoting declining self-confidence and potential . These elements, along with curtailed self-efficacy, isolation, unconscious bias, lack of sponsorship, lack of early discipline-related exposure, and work-life balance, likely contribute to underrepresentation and the slow pace of professional progression for female physicians in Internal Medicine .