Women's participation in the medical profession: Insights from experiences in Japan, Scandinavia, Russia, And Eastern Europe

Aditi Ramakrishnan, Dana Sambuco, Reshma Jagsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although much literature has focused on the status of female physicians in the United States, limited English-language studies have examined the role of women in the medical profession elsewhere in the world. This article synthesizes evidence regarding the status of female physicians in three purposively selected regions outside the United States: Japan, Scandinavia, and Russia and Eastern Europe. These three regions markedly differ in the proportion of female physicians in the workforce, overall status of the medical profession, cultural views of gender roles, and workforce policies. Through a review of studies and articles published between 1992 and 2012 examining women's representation, status measures such as salary and leadership positions, and experiences of female physicians, the authors discuss potential relationships between the representation of female physicians, their status in medicine, and the overall status of the profession. The findings suggest that even when women constitute a high proportion of the physician workforce, they may continue to be underrepresented in positions of leadership and prestige. Evolving workforce policies, environments, and cultural views of gender roles appear to play a critical role in mediating the relationship between women's participation in the medical profession and their ability to rise to positions of influence within it. These insights are informative for the ongoing debates over the impact of the demographic shifts in the composition of the medical workforce in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-934
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume23
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

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