Original Article

Prevalence of Women in Medicine Programs at University-Based Internal Medicine Residency Programs

Authors: Shinji Rho, BA, Alyssa Rust, BS, Lydia Zhong, BA, Koeun Lee, BA, Abby Spencer, MD, Maria Q. Baggstrom, MD, Rakhee K. Bhayani, MD


Objective: Women physicians face various forms of inequities during their training process that inhibit them from reaching their full potential. As a response, several academic institutions have established women in medicine (WIM) programs as a support system. Our objective was to investigate the prevalence of WIM programs at university-based Internal Medicine residency programs as of December 2021.

Methods: Using the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database, we identified 145 university-based Internal Medicine residency programs. Four independent reviewers reviewed the programs’ Web sites, looking for evidence of a WIM program using a standardized checklist of search terms to evaluate and categorize their programs. Categories included whether the program was specific to graduate medical trainees, departments of medicine, or institution-wide. The proportions of programs that had a WIM program, a trainee-specific WIM program, and a Department of Medicine–specific WIM program were then analyzed.

Results: Of the 145 programs searched, 58 (40%) had a WIM program. Only 16 (11%) were specific to trainees (11 for only medicine trainees and 5 included trainees graduate medical education-wide). The remaining 42 programs targeted faculty and trainees (5 included only the Department of Medicine and 37 included departments university-wide).

Conclusions: Few university-affiliated Internal Medicine residency programs have a WIM program specific to trainees. Given the gender inequity and evidence that supports early development of leadership skills and support networks, our findings highlight a possible gap in the residency training program infrastructure.

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