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Research Letter
May 2017

Representation of Women Among Academic Grand Rounds Speakers

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Medical Scientist Training Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(5):722-724. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9646

Grand rounds (GR), a time-honored method of disseminating clinical and research knowledge to medical audiences, showcases speakers as successful academic role models. Exposure to successful female role models, such as GR speakers, may positively affect the retention of women in academic medicine.1,2 In the present study, we sought to determine whether women’s representation as GR speakers reflects their representation in academic medical workforces.

We surveyed GR speaker series in clinical specialties, each encompassing more than 2% of US academic physicians per the Association of American Medical Colleges.3 Specialties for which 15 or more National Institutes of Health–funded departments4 made from January 1 to December 31, 2014, GR calendars available via websites or email were analyzed. We categorized speakers by trainee status, institutional affiliation, and gender (inferred by first name and confirmed by speaker photographs in cases of ambiguity). Meetings, annual reports, and ceremonies were excluded. Female speaker percentages were compared with workforce demographics3 using 1-sample t tests, and intramural and extramural percentages were compared via a paired t test (2-sided; P < .05 was considered significant). The University of Pittsburgh Institutional Review Board exempted this study.