The 80′s were rough for female doctors. I mean at that point there were only 12% total. Just imagine that. Grey’s Anatomy with its female heavy cast would have been completely unrealistic back then. But now we can have shows like that because according to the American Medical Association Physician data, women now make up 31% of physicians. Though 31% may not sound like a lot when you compare it to the n which is a 400% increase since 1981. Though 31% doesn’t sound like a lot compared to the 80′s it sounds like the darn Lillith Fair. Or think of it compared to when Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to graduate from a U.S. medical school in 1849. Did they even have a women’s bathroom on campuses back then?
The increase is consistent with the increased participation of women in the professional workforce over the same time frame. Reflecting the overall changes in professional mores, medicine has become a far more gender diverse calling. The number of female physicians has increased by over 400% since 1981, while male physician ranks have increased by just 52%. The overall physician population has increased 35% since 1981.
The increase in women is apparently changing the way medical marketers work. “Medical marketers and physician recruiters are far more cognizant of the importance of women in the physician population,” according to Terry Nugent, MMS’s Vice President of Marketing. “In fact, women physicians are highly sought after by medical practices and hospitals, particularly in specialties such as Obstetrics and Gynecology.” According to Nugent, marketers may wish to test marketing copy that is tailored by gender. “For example, if a physician recruiter thinks that women physicians generally prefer more flexible work schedules, they may wish to emphasize flexible schedules and call responsibilities in their recruitment mailings and emails.