May 7, 1997


JAMA. 1997;277(17):1403-1409. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540410081036

In the early 1990s a milestone in medicine was reached as the percentage of women accepted into several prominent medical schools for the first time reached 50%. This trend continues, and women now comprise half of the enrollment at more than 20 medical schools across the country. According to a recent survey,1 women represent 43% of matriculating medical students in the United States.

But what evidence is there of the new era many predicted would result from the infusion of women into the profession? Reviewing the progress of women in medicine—or at times, the lack of it—we find that while the 50% mark was an important barrier to surmount, many advances are still to be made. Although the number of women within the profession has grown steadily over the past 25 years—in 1972, just 9.2% of entering classes