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August 2018

Closing the Sex Divide in the Emerging Field of Neurology

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Neurol. 2018;75(8):920-921. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0300

In this issue of JAMA Neurology, McDermott et al1 report results from a cross-sectional survey of 1700 neurologists in 29 US academic medical centers to examine sex-based differences in academic faculty rank and publication rates. This largely bibliometric survey revealed that academic neurology departments still exhibit a substantial divide between women and men. Adjusted for years since medical school graduation, McDermott et al1 demonstrate that women are still underrepresented at all faculty levels, and their rates of medical publication remain lower than their male counterparts. In contrast, they report that there is no difference at any faculty level in other academic domains such as clinical activity, educational development, or book authorship (Table 3).1 As a woman, a tenured professor, and the chair of a neurology department in one of the stated “top-ranked” neurology programs, I strongly believe that sex differences have no place in the future of the field of neurology. Change has been too slow.

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