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Gender Diversity in Medical Physics: Where We Stand and Where to Go

E Covington1*, J Moran2, R Jagsi2,3, K Ryan3, K Paradis (Younge)2, (1) Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, (2) Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, (3)Center for Bioethics and Social Science in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Presentations

(Sunday, 7/12/2020)   [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room: AAPM ePoster Library

Purpose: To investigate gender diversity within the field of medical physics using both quantitative and qualitative data.

Methods: AAPM leadership, AAPM council chairs, AAPM award/recognition recipients, and Medical Physics Editorial Board members were identified using the AAPM website. Leadership positions at place of employment were determined through self-reported data in the AAPM directory. The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP) website was used to identify current directors of graduate and residency programs. Gender was assigned by reviewing names and photographs. Percentage representation was compared to the overall percentage of women in the AAPM in 2019 (23.3%). In addition, qualitative data from 32 interviews of medical physicists participating in a concurrent mixed methods study regarding work/life integration, mentorship, and discrimination in medical physics was used to explore potential causes of gender disparities in the field.

Results: Self-reported employment data indicate that women hold 12.0% of medical physics clinical leadership positions in the US, compared to 13.6% in Canada, and 18.0% in other countries combined. CAMPEP graduate program directors and residency program directors are 7.5% and 21.5% female, respectively. Fewer than 1 in 10 AAPM presidents have been female, and a woman has never served as Editor-in-Chief of Medical Physics. Award recognition within AAPM is lower than the corresponding female membership figure for all award categories but one. Two women have served as AAPM council chairs since 1970 (4.7%). Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts identified gender differences in multiple facets of the profession that could potentially lead to these disparities.

Conclusions: Gender disparities within the profession of medical physics must be addressed. The current analysis is beneficial for those seeking to champion diversity within both the AAPM and the international medical physics community.

Download ePoster [PDF]

Keywords

Not Applicable / None Entered.

Taxonomy

Leadership: Respect for diversity behavior

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