National Awards and Female Emergency Physicians in the United States: Is the "Recognition Gap" Closing?

Andrea C. Fang, Sharon A. Chekijian, Amy J. Zeidan, Esther K. Choo, Kinjal N. Sethuraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Gender inequities in recognition, compensation, promotion, and leadership roles exist in emergency medicine. Formal recognition in the workplace and opportunities for advancement are vulnerable to bias. Objective: To examine the gender distribution of national awards in emergency medicine, to analyze whether there is a gap, and to highlight notable trends. Methods: Recipients of the major award categories between 2001 and 2020 were examined for the 3 main national emergency medicine organizations. The gender distribution of award winners by year was compared with the gender distribution of female faculty in emergency medicine departments using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges and a chi-squared analysis. Results: The gender gap in award winners has decreased over time, but men are still disproportionately given national awards over women. In all 3 organizations, women represented a smaller proportion of award winners than men when compared with the national proportion of women in academic emergency medicine. Advocacy awards were the one category where women were more likely to be recognized. Women were notably least likely to receive clinical and leadership awards. Conclusions: The gender gap in emergency medicine awards has narrowed in the last 20 years but still exists. This discrepancy is an example of how bias can compound over time to generate gaps in recognition, career advancement, and promotion. The pipeline to award nominations should be addressed at the individual, departmental, awards committee, and organizational levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-549
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • American Association of Emergency Medicine (AAEM)
  • American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
  • Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM)
  • awards
  • emergency medicine organizations
  • gender equity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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