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Gender gap narrows in medical journals

Female scientists are authoring more original research papers, but publishing rates still don't match women's enrollment in medicine

Ishani Ganguli
Women are now heading a greater portion of original research papers in medical journals than they were in 1970, Harvard researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). However, the current rate of first-authorship by women -- nearly 30% -- remains significantly lower than the current rate of enrollment by women in medical school. "I'm actually quite pleased with the findings," said Catherine DeAngelis, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). "I wish we were going faster but it's not bad, we're getting there."And according to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), women made up only 19% of associate and full clinical professors in 2004 (the last year included in this report), suggesting that women in those positions "are overachievers rather than underachievers," said Patricia Numann at SUNY Upstate Medical University, founder of the Association of Women Surgeons.First author...

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