Increasing diversity in pediatric hematology/oncology

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Jul 15;57(1):147-52. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22977. Epub 2011 Jan 31.


Background: Diversity is necessary for the survival and success of both biological and social systems including societies. There is a lack of diversity, particularly the proportion of women and minorities in leadership positions, within medicine [Leadley. AAMC 2009. Steinecke and Terrell. Acad Med 2010;85:236-245]. In 2009 a group of ASPHO members recognized the need to support the career advancement of women and minority members. This article reports the results of a survey designed to characterize the comparative career pathway experience of women and minority ASPHO members.

Procedure: A group of ASPHO members modified a published Faculty Worklife survey [Pribbenow et al. High Educ Policy 2010;23:17-38] for use by Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologists (PHOs). A link to an online version of the survey was sent to all ASPHO members.

Results: Of 1,228 ASPHO members polled, 213 responded (17%). Women and minority PHOs reported less satisfaction than their counterparts on 70 of the 90 issues addressed in the survey including the hiring process, access to resources as well as integration and satisfaction with their organizations. Women also expressed greater dissatisfaction with issues of work-life balance, support for family obligations and personal health.

Conclusions: The current literature suggests that there are significant disparities in career opportunities, compensation and satisfaction for women compared to men and minority compared to majority faculty in academic medicine [Nivet. J Vasc Surg 2010;51:53S-58S; Peterson et al. J Gen Intern Med 2004;19:259-265; DesRoches et al. Acad Med 2010;85:631-639; Castillo-Page. AAMC 2008]. Our data, derived from a survey of ASPHO members, suggests that this holds true for PHOs as well.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice
  • Female
  • Hematology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology*
  • Minority Groups*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Physicians, Women*
  • Societies, Medical*
  • United States