What We Heard report: Gender equity in BC Medicine

September 14, 2021

What We Heard Report: Gender Equity in BC Medicine

Feedback from our members empowers Doctors of BC to effectively advocate for doctors across the province. By sharing your insights, you contribute to progress with government, health authorities, and other organizations. Your feedback and ideas matter, and can make a real difference.

In June, Doctors of BC launched an online engagement on an important topic: gender equity in BC medicine. Global and national research indicates that female physicians experience a number of challenges in areas such as medical leadership, income disparities, and work-life integration. This summer, Doctors of BC asked for member insights for the purpose of informing policy that is relevant to you. The engagement ended on July 21, and we appreciate the valuable feedback provided by participating members, and the time it took to join the discussion. A new What We Heard report on this round of engagement is now available.

Who took part?

Overall, 143 surveys were completed, comprised of 503 comments to open-ended questions and 123 contributions shared to our ideas board. Family physicians represented 42% of respondents,, 53% indicated they were specialists, with the remaining 5% selecting “Other.” Female respondents comprised 84%, 13.5% were male, and 2.5% identified as another gender, or did not specify.

What are the challenges?

Female respondents outlined a number of challenges they have faced, and respondents of all genders discussed the need for better understanding and potential solutions. The challenges that were suggested by members included::

  • Gender bias among patients, fellow physicians, family members, and other health care providers.
  • Referral bias, whereby complex or time-intensive patients are disproportionately referred to female physicians.
  • Lack of female representation in academic, clinical, and professional leadership.
  • Gaps in research contributing to a lack of understanding around gender equity issues.
  • Different or added difficulties encountered by women in medicine of varying backgrounds.

Gender Equity in BC Medicine: Next steps

Participants outlined a number of potential solutions to these concerns, including increased referral transparency, improvements to parental leave for men and women, and provision of training and guidance to address conscious and unconscious gender biases. Doctors of BC will use these findings to inform actionable policy commitments and recommendations specific to gender equity in BC medicine. The final policy statement will be shared in the coming months. The What We Heard report includes more details on the engagement results. Read some of our previous What We Heard Reports on our website.

Get in touch

If you have any queries about engagement opportunities, please email: .