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Among Cardiologists, Women Cite Discrimination
Date:12/16/2008

Survey finds roadblocks still plague female practitioners,,

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The number of female cardiologists in the United States doubled in the last decade, but under-representation of women in the profession and discrimination continue to be problems, according to a survey of 1,110 cardiologists.

Even though the number of women and men graduating from medical school is about the same, women account for fewer than 20 percent of all cardiologists. Two-thirds of women continue to report discrimination, mostly attributed to the competing demands of their profession and parenting/family responsibilities.

The survey found that women are less likely to pursue a career in interventional radiology, in part because of concerns about radiation exposure and pregnancy risks. Female cardiologists are also more likely to have interruptions in their training or practice and much less likely to be married or have children than their male colleagues.

The findings were published in this week's issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"Women in cardiology continue to face the same institutional and personal roadblocks as those in other areas of medicine and science," Dr. Athena Poppas, associate professor of medicine at Brown University Medical School, said in an American College of Cardiology news release. "Women don't choose to specialize as much as their male counterparts for a variety of reasons, including the intensity and length of training -- at least six years for cardiology -- during peak childbearing years."

"One-third of Americans will have cardiovascular disease, so we must attract the best and the brightest -- and that includes women -- to keep up with the demand and provide the highest level of patient care and research to help advance the field," said Poppas, who chairs the American College of Cardiology's Women in Cardiology Council, which commissi
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