Women Physicians Are Underrepresented in Recognition Awards From the Association of Academic Physiatrists

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2018 Jan;97(1):34-40. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000792.


Objective: Determine representation by gender for individual recognition awards presented to physicians by the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP).

Design: Cross-sectional survey was used. Lists of individual recognition award recipients for the 27-yr history of the AAP awards (1990-2016) were analyzed. The primary outcome measures were the total numbers of men versus women physician award recipients overall and for the past decade (2007-2016).

Results: No awards were given to women physicians for the past 4 yrs (2013-2016) or in half of the award categories for the past decade (2007-2016). No woman received the outstanding resident/fellow award since its inception (2010-2016). There was a decrease in the proportion of awards given to women in the past decade (2007-2016, 7 of 39 awards, 17.9%) as compared with the first 17 yrs (1990-2006, 10 of 46 awards, 21.7%). Furthermore, compared with their proportional membership within the specialty, women physicians were underrepresented for the entire 27-yr history of the AAP awards (1990-2016, 17 of 85 awards, 20%). According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the proportion of full-time female physical medicine and rehabilitation faculty members was 38% in 1992 and 41% in 2013.

Conclusions: Women physicians have been underrepresented by the AAP in recognition awards. Although the reasons are not clear, these findings should be further investigated.

MeSH terms

  • Awards and Prizes*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physiatrists
  • Physicians, Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Societies, Medical