Pediatrics was once a field dominated by men, yet in recent years, more and more women who have entered the medical field have selected to become pediatricians. There are some areas of practice where differences and achievement gaps still remain in terms of potential earnings, as well as possible medical research opportunities in the field of pediatrics. An increasing number of patients are requesting women deliver their babies, which has correlated with a heightened demand for female obstetricians and a rise in women pediatricians in America.
Women In Pediatrics Growing
In a medical field that had once been overwhelmingly dominated by men, pediatrics is fast developing into what will be a female dominated medical practice. In 1996, the Pediatric Specialty Study showed that 42 percent of all pediatricians and approximately 58 percent of those doctors under 45 years old were women, according to American Demographics. What is also revealing is that in 1995, 63 percent of interns in pediatrics were women.
Pediatrics Accommodates Part-Time Work
The field of pediatrics appears to be more accommodating of all of the other medical specialty areas for women, who tend to cluster more than men in this medical field. One of the reasons raised has been how the field accommodates women and the need to work part-time, more so than men. Between 1993 and 2000 a combined 3,700 medical residents were asked about considering part-time or reduced hours of pediatric practice. Forty-two percent of female residents and 14 percent of male residents said they would consider it. In fact, 58 percent of female residents versus 15 percent of male residents, “indicated that they would be interested in arranging a part-time position within the next 5 years,” according to the website Pediatrics.
Promotion of Community Child Health Issues
While male and female pediatricians appear to be involved in community oriented activities that promote the health of children, male pediatricians did not anticipate their level of current involvement increasing. Female pediatricians on the other hand predicted greater involvement over a five year period and felt the level of their involvement to be to be too little by a 68.5 percent to 54.8 percent for male pediatricians. Male and female pediatricians used difference approaches to influencing child health issues. Women would typically address parent and teacher groups in the community while men focused on educating legislators and working in coalitions.
Pediatric Resident Grant Application Issues
One of the notable differences between men and women in the field of pediatrics has been the disparity between them in applying for research grant applications and the resulting higher funding outcomes. Some of the differences noted over a five-year period of monitoring a large academic pediatric residency program were that men asked for more research money, had more advanced research degrees and also received more favorable reviews for their applications. One of the drawbacks for female residents has been the application for pediatrics grants later than men and low balling the amount requested for grant funding.