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Gender Differences in the Pursuit of Cardiac Electrophysiology Training in North America.

Abdulsalam N, Gillis AM, Rzeszut AK, Yong CM, Duvernoy CS, Langan MN, West K, Velagapudi P, Killic S, O'Leary EL. Gender Differences in the Pursuit of Cardiac Electrophysiology Training in North America. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2021 Aug 31; 78(9):898-909.

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BACKGROUND: Despite the increase in the number of female physicians across most specialties within cardiology,  < 10% of clinical cardiac electrophysiology (EP) fellows are women. OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine the factors that influence fellows-in-training (FITs) to pursue EP as a career choice and whether this differs by gender. METHODS: The authors conducted an online multiple-choice survey through the American College of Cardiology to assess the decision factors that influence FITs in the United States and Canada to pursue cardiovascular subspecialties. RESULTS: A total of 933 (30.5%) FITs completed the survey; 129 anticipated specializing in EP, 259 in interventional cardiology (IC), and 545 in a different field or were unsure. A total of 1 in 7 (14%) FITs indicated an interest in EP. Of this group, more men chose EP than women (84% vs 16%; P  < 0.001). The most important factor that influenced FITs to pursue EP was a strong interest in the field. Women were more likely to be influenced by having a female role model (P  =  0.001) compared with men. After excluding FITs interested in IC, women who deselected EP were more likely than men to be influenced by greater interest in another field (P = 0.004), radiation concerns (P = 0.001), lack of female role models (P = 0.001), a perceived "old boys' club" culture (P = 0.001) and discrimination/harassment concerns (P  =  0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Women are more likely than men to be negatively influenced by many factors when it comes to pursuing EP as a career choice. Addressing those factors will help decrease the gender disparity in the field.

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