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Increasingly Women are Choosing Subspecialty Careers

JAMA Internal Medicine has an analysis of the growing trend of more women enrolling in medical schools in the last few decades, such that more than half of US Med school matriculants in 2017 were women.  Also in 2017, 42% of residents in internal medicine were women.  The reported analysis looked at internal medicine subspecialty choices by women and men between 1991 to 2016.



Internal medicine residencies were comprised of 30% women and 70% in 1991.

Subpecialty fellowships included 33% women and 67% were men.


By 2016, the number of women in internal medicine rose to 43%, and declined in subspecialty fellowships to 24%. 

Analysis of 9 subspecialties showed that the percentage of women entering each of the fields increased over time, with variations between specialt.

Overall, fellowships in endocrinology, rheumatology, and geriatrics had the greatest increase in the percentages of women fellows at 95%, 56%, and 44% greater increase over time compared with cardiology.

By comparison, cardiology, pulmonary disease and critical care had the lowest rates of increase.

The following is the percentage of women in these fellowships for 2016:

  • 21.3% cardiology
  • 32.6% pulmonary/critical care
  • 34.0% gastroenterology
  • 34.4% nephrology
  • 42.9% hematology/oncology
  • 54.6% infectious disease
  • 60.2% rheumatology
  • 71.3% endocrinology
  • 76.9% geriatric medicine




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