June 1, 2023

Women In The ED

Join the discussion of how far women have come with Dr. Diane Birnbaumer as she highlights some of the challenges and obstacles women still face in medicine.

Faculty: Dr. Diane Birnbaumer, MD, FACEP

Faculty Bio: Dr. Birnbaumer is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.| Currently a Senior Clinical Educator in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center| Dr. Birnbaumer was Associate Program Director there for nearly 20 years. Dr. Birnbaumer has presented over 2,000 lectures locally, nationally, internationally and virtually on clinical and educational topics ranging from emergency medicine to teaching the teachers. She has received several national awards, including the Outstanding Speaker of the Year and the Outstanding Contribution to Education Awards for the American College of Emergency Physicians

Read Video Transcript

- Women comprise half of all medical students in the United States today, but will it stay that way? The advancement of women in medicine is not guaranteed. It requires continuing efforts to keep women in their place in the house of medicine. In the 1960s and '70s, 5-8% of medical students in the country were women. There was a huge change that happened then. When the women's rights movement hit, women gained access to reproductive rights and birth control and Congress changed things with passing Title IX, giving women access to advanced education in universities and increasing funding for medical student positions, and they couldn't discriminate based on gender to fill those positions. Following that, women now comprise 1/3 of physicians in this country, but still face big challenges. Women are underrepresented in virtually all levels of leadership, including academic and the private sectors. Sexual harassment is still pervasive. Women still bear a disproportionate share of home and family care, making work-life balance difficult. And the salaries of women physicians are 75% that of their male colleagues doing the exact same job. History reflects that advancements are made in fits and starts. It's going to require ongoing work to keep women in their very strong place in the house of medicine that they have today.

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