Like many other advanced and high-paid roles, the medical profession is one historically dominated by men.
In fact, a report by The Washington Post said just three decades ago, under a third of medical students were female.
But now, the playing field has evened out. Today, women outnumber men in medical schools across the United States.
In a recent report, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) claimed women in medicine have made steady gains since 1960. In the last 15 years, women made up nearly half of enrolments at medical school in the United States.
Despite a slight lull in 2017 where men outnumbered women, since 2015 there were fewer male applicants than previous years and increasing numbers of female applicants.
Now, women account for over half of all enrollments into medical school.
For the first time, there will be more women than men entering medical school. pic.twitter.com/mE14OpnM3g
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 8, 2018
In Washington, many medical schools have had more women than men for some time. Many even teeter so far that women significantly outnumber men.
Some schools have had exceptional historical diversity.
George Washington University’s medical school recently enrolled the highest percentage of women in its history at 62 percent. The Washington Post reported women have made up approximately half of all enrolment to the school since the 1990s.
Additionally, women have taken up the majority of enrolments for the last 19 consecutive years at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In 2017, the school had a 59 percent female intake. There were times when men made up most of the applicants but still, women came out on top.
The progression in gender equality in medicine has largely been attributed to increasing incentives, pipeline programmes, and general encouragement for girls to enter STEM subjects.
For the first year, women are now a majority of entering medical school students nationwide. 30 years ago it was 33%. For the past 15 years it has been about 50%. STEM pipeline programs get credit. https://t.co/mLSzuvObU9
— Terry Mackin (@tcmackin) January 23, 2018
Female students are increasingly being targeted at a young age to feel able to pursue the subjects necessary to embark on a medical career should they so wish.
“Many of these programmes show that women are just as talented and capable in the sciences,” AAMC Senior Director for Student Affairs and Programs Geoffrey Young told The Washington Post.
“We are pleased to see this increasing diversity in what has been a white male-dominated profession.”
Times are changing. In most institutions women are able to study medicine without a second thought to their gender.
However, they often find themselves in the lower-paid or less esteemed roles in medical schools. For example, women are seldom found in many high-paid specialities such as orthopaedic surgery and cardiovascular disease.
While entering a male-dominated field could be off-putting for some, for other women it provides even more of an incentive to get out there and show what they can do.