Women, minorities remain underrepresented in paediatric cardiology

28 Mar 2023
Women, minorities remain underrepresented in paediatric cardiology

The presence of women in paediatric cardiology remains inadequate, while that of underrepresented minorities in medicine (URMM) is very limited, reveals a recent study.

“Studies have shown that diverse care teams optimize patient outcomes,” the authors said. “Describing the current representation of women and minorities has been a critical step in improving diversity across several fields.”

A national survey was then conducted in US academic paediatric cardiology programs with fellowship training programs to address the lack of data specific to this specialty. The authors invited division directors from July to September 2021 to complete an e-survey of program composition.

Standard definitions were used to describe URMM. Finally, the authors carried out descriptive analyses at the hospital, faculty, and fellow level.

Sixty-one programs were included in the study, of which 52 (85 percent) completed the survey. This represented a total of 1,570 faculty and 438 fellows, with a wide range in program size (7‒109 faculty and 1‒32 fellows).

Overall, women covered about 60 percent of faculty in paediatrics, but they comprised only 55 percent of fellows and 45 percent of faculty in paediatric cardiology. Their representation in leadership roles was even fewer, with 39 percent of clinical subspecialty directors, 25 percent of endowed chairs, and 16 percent of division directors.

Furthermore, URMM comprised nearly 35 percent of the US population, but they covered only 14 percent of paediatric cardiology fellows and 10 percent of faculty, with very limited leadership roles.

“Our findings can inform efforts to elucidate underlying mechanisms for persistent disparity and reduce barriers to improving diversity in the field,” the authors said.

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