Physician Workplace Gender Bias - 3 things Men Must Stop Doing Now

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout: 3 Things Men Must Stop Doing to Decrease Unconscious Gender Bias in the Healthcare Workplace

Two surveys in the last three years show a remarkable transformation of the US physician population. 

  • In 2019 the majority of US medical students are women for the first time. (1)
  • Athena health surveyed 3500 of their client practices in 2017 and found 60% of physicians 35 or younger are women. (2)
  • In 2022 53.8% of medical students are women (3)

With this gender shift in full swing, you would think unconscious gender bias against women would be rolling towards extinction ... right? Not so in my experience (and yours too I suspect).

Tags: stop physician burnout, Bias and Discrimination


Female Physician Gender Bias and Status Leveling Burden at Work

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

PhysiciansOnPurpose [ POP ] Podcast #62

Watch or Listen as Dr. Teresa Cardador PhD and I discuss " Status Leveling Burden " an old source of gender bias for female physicians with a new name.

In the medical profession, women physicians are automatically assigned a position of inferior status compared to their male colleagues. Women physicians also run into challenges to their status from female nurses on the job site.

Status leveling burden is a set of behaviors all female physicians must perfect in order to up-level their status with regards to these two groups on the practice site. 

1) Male physicians. Men are automatically granted higher status purely virtue of their gender. Women physicians must work to bring themselves up to the level of status and respect of their male colleagues. It takes finesse, practice and effort.

2) Female nurses. There is an additional set of behaviors women physicians must master in order to maintain status with Female Nurses on the practice site. Again, these specific communications and acts of kindness take finesse, practice and additional effort that male physicians need not expend at work.

This was a great discussion for women and men alike with the lead researcher from a new study, Dr. Teresa Cardador PhD. This is a set of behaviors that make it harder for female residents to make it through training and can drive female physicians right out of medicine in some cases. We have all seen them. Now we have a name to aid our discussions of how to respond.

Tags: stop physician burnout, Bias and Discrimination, physicians on purpose podcast, Female physician gender bias