publication date: Oct. 23, 2020

Guest Editorial

Gender equity remains elusive in gyn oncology as women earn less, put up with more


Sarah M. Temkin, MD

Gynecologic oncologist,

Gender equity advocate



BJ Rimel, MD

Associate professor,

Division of Gynecologic Oncology,

Cedars Sinai Medical Center


Over the past five decades, a marked shift in the number of women practicing gynecologic oncology has transformed the field. The specialty began as 57 men gynecologists, who saw an unmet need in the care of women with malignancies of the female genital tract.

These women, they believed, could benefit from radical pelvic surgery and the administration of chemotherapy for their reproductive cancers, which the surgical and medical oncologists of the time believed were too toxic for the fragile female form.

In 1972, they formed the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and defined the training, research and clinical care of the specialty that persist today. Since the inception of the field, cancer treatment has changed dramatically, as have the demographics of its practitioners. In 2020, women represent >50% of the gynecologic oncologists practicing in the United States and Canada, and over 70% of our fellows in training.

Our field has always been about women, and today women are the future of care in this field.

Feminist theory of the 1970s proposed that once a profession accrued 30% of … Continue reading Gender equity remains elusive in gyn oncology as women earn less, put up with more

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