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September 2, 1983

Women in Medicine

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Pennsylvania
Hahnemann Hospital Philadelphia

JAMA. 1983;250(9):1165-1166. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340090025015

To the Editor.—  The two commentaries on women in medicine are disturbing in their sanguine assumption that equality has been won or is at least well on the way. The acceptance of this notion can only contribute to an increase in the subtle and overt forms of discrimination against women that are still present in American medicine.Numbers do not equal equality. The existence of a previous golden age for women in medicine at the turn of the century (which then, as now, was predicated on an active feminist movement) should give us pause; women were almost completely eliminated from the ranks of physicians in a few short years.1 By and large, women still do not hold positions of power. Despite the progress cited by Drs Dimond and Heins, women in academic medicine are concentrated in lower ranks, are more likely to be part-time, less well paid and given