Female physicians choose subspecialties.


Concerns among healthcare analysts that the majority of pediatricians in training now are women and that this might cause shortages in the future in pediatric subspecialties appear to be almost entirely unfounded, a University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, study concludes.

Unlike in the past, women pediatricians increasingly are likely to enter subspecialties, researchers discovered, saying that the news is reassuring. "This shows that women are breaking into the glass ceiling in more areas," asserts Michelle Mayer, research associate at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. "Pediatrics appears to be a field with great opportunities for women.

"For nine of the 16 pediatric medical subspecialties we studied, the percentages of board-certified women were significantly greater among younger pediatricians than among older ones. Subspecialties that remain predominately male among the younger group include cardiology, critical care medicine, gastroenterology, and pulmonary and sports medicine."

According to the American Board of Pediatrics, the number of women choosing to become pediatricians is rising. In 2003, data showed that 63% of pediatricians seeking certification were women. Because...

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