Date of Award
Medical Doctor (MD)
John E. Pachankis
Sexual and gender minorities (SGM) in medicine experience unique stressors in training. However, little is known about SGM specialty choice. This study examined predictors of SGM specialty choice, associations between specialty prestige and perceived SGM inclusion, and self-reported influences on specialty choice. Medical trainees and practitioners (358 SGM, 1528 non-SGM) were surveyed online. We operationalized specialty choice at the individual level as respondents’ specialty of practice; at the specialty level, as a percentage of SGM respondents in each specialty. We examined specialty prestige, perceived SGM inclusivity, and medical school climate as predictors of SGM specialty choice, and compared additional influences on specialty choice between SGM and non-SGM. The percentage of SGM in each specialty was inversely related to specialty prestige (P = 0.001) and positively related to perceived SGM inclusivity (P = 0.01). Prestigious specialties were perceived as less SGM inclusive (P < 0.001). Medical school climate did not predict specialty prestige (P = 0.82). SGM were more likely than non-SGM to indicate that sexual and gender identity strongly influenced specialty choice (P < 0.01). SGM most frequently rated personality fit, specialty content, role models, and work life balance as strong influences on specialty choice. Exposure as a medical student to SGM faculty did not predict specialty prestige among SGM. Specialty prestige and perceived inclusivity predict SGM specialty choice. SGM diversity initiatives in prestigious specialties may be particularly effective by addressing SGM inclusion directly. Further research is needed to inform effective mentorship for SGM medical students.
Zelin, Nicole Sitkin, "Specialty Choice Among Sexual And Gender Minorities In Medicine" (2018). Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library. 3464.