Not a match: Why women are not choosing pain medicine

Pain Pract. 2024 Jun 3. doi: 10.1111/papr.13381. Online ahead of print.


Background: Despite a long history of disparities in medicine, women have made significant progress toward gender equity in medical schools, training programs, and many fields in recent years. However, pain medicine has remained behind most specialties in female recruitment and representation.

Methods: We reviewed the latest demographic data on practicing physicians, trainees, and applicants with the aim of analyzing gender trends and identifying potential factors contributing to the shortage of women in our specialty.

Results: Based on data from the past 10 years, the percentages of women among pain physicians, fellows, and applicants have remained stagnant, in contrast to the increases seen not only in the general medical workforce but also in other interventional specialties.

Conclusions: Given these trends, it is likely that persistent gender disparities and biases play a role in preventing women from pursuing careers in pain, and unlikely that the current trajectory will change unless we take steps to address these and other relevant factors.

Publication types

  • Editorial