Study on women in pulmonary medicine highlights challenges and hurdles

Gender discrimination, delayed promotions and pay inequity are among the hurdles faced by women pulmonologists, a Study on Women in Pulmonary Medicine in India has indicated.

The study, which was carried out by Uma Maheshwari Krishnaswamy, Professor, Pulmonary Medicine, St. John’s Medical College, Bengaluru, included the perspectives from 143 practising women pulmonologists and pulmonary medicine trainees from across the country.

As many as 38% of women surveyed indicated that they had faced uncomfortable questions in job interviews related to career gaps and had faced discrimination in scientific meetings. Around 30% of women said that they had lesser opportunities for research compared to men and a pay inequity.

“There is often a discussion among women pulmonologists about how they are sidelined when compared to men. Among the challenges faced by them during training, 37% of the women said they had fewer opportunities to do procedures and attend conferences when compared to men,” said Dr. Uma Maheshwari. 

With 66.4% of women who took the survey working at a tertiary care hospital, she stressed on the need for pulmonology to be included at the grassroots level in primary care.

Among the strategies adopted to overcome professional hurdles, 32% of women had spoken in favour of forming support groups. ”While many women pulmonologists have successfully breached the glass ceiling, they still have miles to go and mentors play an important role in helping trainees do well,” she said. 

The survey was discussed at the launch of the book Pulmonary Disorders in Women at the Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research on Monday.

Kumari Indira, Professor and Head of Pulmonary Medicine, Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, who is the editor of the book, said there were 29 chapters that cover all aspects of pulmonary medicine.

Releasing the book, Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organisation, said it was important for young pulmonologists to consider research as a part of their daily life and give it importance.

About the survey, she said the challenges and hurdles faced by women pulmonologists as indicated in the survey would apply to other specialties as well. “At the WHO, there is focus on gender and the importance of mainstreaming gender considerations in all aspects of health programming. Leadership positions need more women, and there has to be a conscious move towards creating more opportunities,” she added. 

V.R. Venkatachalam, Chancellor,  Dhrubajyoti Roy, President, Indian Chest Society, and Vijayalakshmi Thanasekaraan, Editor in Chief of the book and former Pulmonology department head and Controller of Examinations, SRIHER, were present.

Our code of editorial values

  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 10:29:34 pm |