Marcia Klein-Patel, MD: The Importance of Women in Medicine

February 3, 2022
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

February 3 is National Women's Physician Day.

While medical school enrollment has been more equitable for women in recent years, there are still gaps and discrepancies that exist that prevent women from getting ahead in medicine.

This might be particularly true for women leading clinical trials, as well as for payment to do the same work as their male counterparts.

“We know that there are many gender differences,” Marcia Klein-Patel, MD, Chair of Allegheny Health Network’s Women’s Institute, said in an interview with HCPLive®. “Women across medical specialties are paid less than their male counterparts and are less likely to progress along the academic promotions pathway. They are also significantly less likely to be chairs or deans of their programs.”

Klein-Patel said only 18% of chairs or deans of medical academic programs are women and women are less likely to author journal articles.

It is also true that women are more likely than men to report disrespect in the workplace and feel less likely that there are opportunities for growth.

However, she said medical school is 1 area where there has been progress made in the last 2 decades, where there is roughly equal rates of women and men enrolled.

The conversation with Klein-Patel is part of National Women’s Physician Day on Feb 3, a day to promote women matriculating through medicine into more leadership positions.