May 20, 2021

Moreton Lecture Explores Gender Bias in Radiology

Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, Newman Family Professor and Deputy Chair of the department of radiation oncology and Director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan, presented this year’s Moreton Lecture during ACR 2021. During her speech, Jagsi encouraged radiologists and radiation oncologists to take a hard look at how equitable the fields really are — and challenged attendees to think about how they can do better.

In her talk, Promoting Equity for Women in Radiology and Radiation Oncology: An Evidence-Based Approach, Jagsi said there is no reason to believe women should not be succeeding equally with men —but they aren’t. She delivered a data-packed analysis surrounding the topic of gender inequities in medicine, including unconscious biases, gendered expectations of society, and overt discrimination and harassment.

Jagsi said there are many factors that have gone into creating the inequities in medicine, and COVID-19 is only amplifying the challenges women radiologists face. To begin to narrow the equity gap for women, Jagsi encouraged attendees and their teams to invest in and support mentorship and sponsorship programs, evidence-based implicit bias training, cultural transformation initiatives, promotion tracks for women, promotion of work-life integration, establishment of distinguished scholar awards, on-site childcare at conferences and facilitation of the use of funds to support travel-related dependent care expenses. “Don’t fix the women: Fix the systems,” she said.

The Moreton Lecture was established in 1993 in recognition of the outstanding contributions to radiology and the medical profession by Dr. Robert D. Moreton. Past Moreton lecturers have included Sen. William Cohen, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, and many pioneers and leaders in the radiology sciences.