A woman is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. However, the term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age.

“Woman” may also refer to a person's gender instead of their sex. Women are typically capable of giving birth from puberty until menopause, although some sterile, intersex, and/or transgender women cannot. Throughout history, women have assumed various social roles. In some cultures, a majority of women have adopted specific appearances, such as those regulated by dress codes.

Women report lower levels of professional satisfaction in academic practice compared with men. Given the increasing pressures of academic practice, efforts to align work-life balance and professional goals could potentially improve faculty satisfaction and retention 1).

Medicine and the field of neurology are not immune to gender and racial disparities present more broadly in society. Even within academia there remains a persistent lack of representation of women and racial minorities, but with the recent spotlight on discrimination it is more necessary than ever that prevailing disparities are acknowledged by medical journals and reflected in their publication priorities. This bibliometric study assesses whether social justice trends have influenced the number of articles published that discuss gender and racial disparity in the past 5 years within the top three leading neurological journals.

Data suggest an inadequate publication priority for scholarly work on gender and racial disparity in the chosen journals, over the latest 5 years reviewed 2).

Surgery lacks women and racial minorities that are underrepresented in medicine (UIM).

A systematic review evaluates interventions used to promote diversity in surgery.

The PubMed (MEDLINE), EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched for studies (1) describing interventions for increasing UIM and gender diversity, (2) within surgery, and (3) targeting any learner prior to residency.

Nine surgical specialties were searched: general, neurosurgery, plastics, orthopedics, otolaryngology, urology, cardiothoracic, vascular, and ophthalmology.

Of the 982 studies identified, 16 were included. Awards, clerkships, and workshops were each described by three studies; awards funded research or travel to national meetings, clerkships referred to a third- or fourth-year rotation that provided exposure to surgery, and workshops were hands-on skills sessions for learners. Two studies proposed a holistic review of residency applications, which involves emphasizing an individual's attributes and life experiences rather than strictly academics. Two studies detailed a longitudinal mentoring program comprised of mentorship throughout medical school plus opportunities for research, lectures, and workshops. One study described a combination of interventions and the remaining 2 presented interventions that were characterized as “other.” Longitudinal mentoring programs significantly increased the likelihood of women and UIM applying to surgical residency, while holistic review significantly increased the numbers of women and UIM being interviewed and ranked by residency programs. One award increased the number of female residents matriculating into surgical residency. Clerkships significantly increased the number of women applying to surgical residency. The mere mention of diversity initiatives on a program's website was associated with more female surgical residents, but not UIM residents. Workshops led to a higher, but not statistically significant, proportion of women applying to surgery.

Holistic review and longitudinal mentoring programs are the most effective interventions for increasing UIM and female representation among surgical trainees 3).

Waljee JF, Chang KW, Kim HM, Gyetko MR, Quint EH, Lukacs NW, Woolliscroft JO, Chung KC. Gender Disparities in Academic Practice. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Sep;136(3):380e-387e. PubMed PMID: 26313843.
Mohammed S, Siddiqi J. Priority of Gender and Racial Disparity in Neurology Journals: A Bibliometric Analysis, 2016-2021. Neuroepidemiology. 2022 Mar 8:1-4. doi: 10.1159/000521688. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35259754.
Hemal K, Reghunathan M, Newsom M, Davis G, Gosman A. Diversity and Inclusion: A Review of Effective Initiatives in Surgery. J Surg Educ. 2021 Apr 17:S1931-7204(21)00063-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2021.03.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33879396.
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