Of particular relevance to medical communications and medical writing, there are far fewer female authors, peer-reviewers, and journal editors in STEM fields than there are men. As these metrics are usually gateways to notoriety, funding, and career success, it is important to be aware of the discrepancies and to try to level the playing field when possible.
What can medical communicators do?
Realize how and where gender bias exists in the relevant fields
Make a concerted effort to search for and include more content from female scientists and healthcare providers
Pass it on – educate and mentor colleagues on the issue
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recently updated their guidelines for publishing in the scientific literature. The ICMJE guidelines, or as they’re more formally known “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publishing of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals,” were updated to include new information related to reputable journals and data sharing, among others.
A fun bit of information about my website. The word cloud (see image above) of all the text used on aimbiomedical.com shows the words used most often in the largest font size. Medical gets top billing, followed closely by publication, guidelines, scientific, writer, and writing. Interesting to see the data presented that way.
In a previous post, I discussed women’s health issues, including the different responses that men and women have to medicine. Tonight CBS will air a report on how drugs affect men and women differently.
“Differences between sexes are more pervasive than previously thought; scientists call for a re-examination of medical research, including drug dosages, based on sex.”
The report focuses on a popular sleep drug, Ambien (zolpidem), for which women’s blood levels were 45% higher than men’s.