ACR Bulletin

Covering topics relevant to the practice of radiology

Exploring Gender Bias in Radiology

This year’s Moreton Lecture encouraged radiologists to take a hard look at how equitable the field really is — and challenged attendees to effect real change.
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June 29, 2021

Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, deputy chair of the department of radiation oncology and director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciencesin Medicine at the University of Michigan, presented this year’s Moreton Lecture. 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, Jagsi said there is no reason 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.

“Don’t fix the women: fix the systems.”

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, transparent criteria for hiring and promotions, 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.