Penn Study: Mustaches More Common Than Women in Top Medical Leadership Posts

It reveals the industry's steep gender disparities.

You probably could’ve guessed — if asked — that there are more men than women leading the nation’s top academic medical institutions in America. But would you have guessed there are more mustaches than women in the ranks?

There are, according to a study co-authored by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and published at The BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical journal.

“The lack of women in leadership roles in medicine is well-documented,” Dr. Mackenzie Wehner, a dermatology resident physician at Penn Medicine said in a statement. “But despite the eccentricities of the study, our results show that even when you focus solely on men with mustaches — which are rare — women are still outnumbered across various specialties.”

The research was generated by inspecting the websites of certain medical schools to identify their leaders then examined their gender and if they had a mustache.

More than 1,000 medical department leaders were studied. Of the 20 specialties examined, only five — obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, family medicine and emergency medicine — had more than 20 percent female department leaders. In 10 specialties, men with mustaches made up more than 20 percent of department leaders.

The study found that in the academic medical world, only 38 percent of full-time faculty members, 21 percent of full-time professors and 16 percent of deans were women.

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