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Pragmatic Solutions to Counteract the Regressive Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Women in Academic Oncology

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Women in academic medicine are playing an outsized role in responding to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as frontline health care workers, extraprofessional caregivers, researchers, and community mobilizers. At the same time, the imbalanced gender distribution of necessary service tasks places women in academic medicine at risk for an amplification of preexisting disparities in career experiences and outcomes. These issues are particularly relevant in academic oncology where gender imbalance already prevails. Across 265 academic programs in the US, women currently comprise 37% of faculty positions in academic medical oncology but hold only 21% of leadership positions. In academic radiation oncology, women comprise only 31% of faculty positions and 12% of leadership positions.1 If not adequately addressed, the effect of COVID-19 is likely to widen these gaps and may compromise the quality of clinical care and research outputs that academic oncologists provide to the public.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Corresponding Author: Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, UHB2C490, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5010 (rjagsi@med.umich.edu).

Published Online: February 11, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.7681

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Jagsi reported grants from the National Institutes of Health, grants from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, grants from Greenwall Foundation, grants from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, grants from Genentech, personal fees from Vizient, personal fees from Dressman Benziger Lavelle, personal fees from Sherinian & Hasso, and other compensation from Equity Quotient (stock options as adviser) outside the submitted work; and uncompensated founding member of TIME'S UP Healthcare and member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr Keenan reported grants from the Conquer Cancer Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr Van Loon reported grants from the US National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and grants from Celgene Cancer Carelinks. No other disclosures were reported.

References
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