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Sex Differences in the Pursuit of Interventional Cardiology as a Subspecialty Among Cardiovascular Fellows-in-Training.
Yong CM, Abnousi F, Rzeszut AK, Douglas PS, Harrington RA, Mehran R, Grines C, Altin SE, Duvernoy CS, American College of Cardiology Women in Cardiology Leadership Council (ACC WIC) , Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Women in Innovations (SCAI WIN). Sex Differences in the Pursuit of Interventional Cardiology as a Subspecialty Among Cardiovascular Fellows-in-Training. JACC. Cardiovascular interventions. 2019 Feb 11; 12(3):219-228.
The authors sought to determine the factors that influence fellows-in-training (FITs) to pursue a career in interventional cardiology (IC) and how these differ by sex.
Despite increases in the proportion of women across numerous medical and surgical specialties over the last decade, IC still ranks at the bottom in terms of representation of women. It is unclear why this maldistribution persists.
An online survey of cardiovascular FITs was conducted under the direction of the American College of Cardiology Women in Cardiology Leadership Council to assess FIT perspectives regarding subspecialty choices.
Of 574 respondents, 33% anticipated specializing in IC. Men were more likely to choose IC than women (39% men, 17% women, odds ratio: 3.98 [95% confidence interval: 2.38 to 6.68]; p < 0.001). Men were more likely to be married (p = 0.005) and have children (p = 0.002). Among married FITs, male IC FITs were more likely to have spouses who do not work (p = 0.003). Although men were more likely to be influenced by positive attributes to pursue IC, women were significantly more likely to be influenced negatively against pursuing the field by attributes including greater interest in another field (p = 0.001), little job flexibility (p = 0.02), physically demanding nature of job (p = 0.004), radiation during childbearing (p < 0.001), "old boys' club" culture (p < 0.001), lack of female role models (p < 0.001), and sex discrimination (p < 0.001).
Many factors uniquely dissuade women from pursuing IC compared with men, largely related to the culture of IC as a subspecialty. Targeted resolution of these specific factors may provide the most impact in reducing sex imbalances in the field.