By Richard Nelson, managing editor, February 01, 2013
A recap of one of the American Academy of Dermatology’s first meetings, held in 1938, includes a note regarding a dinner for all attendees: “Wives were invited.”
Such a note would represent quite a typo today. As the chart below shows, women have steadily made up a larger and larger proportion of practicing dermatologists within the Academy’s membership, and they have taken on more and more leadership roles within the organization. Margaret A. Storkan, MD, served as vice president in 1973, the first of seven women to hold the role thus far. Wilma F. Bergfeld, MD, served as president in 1992, setting the stage for three other women who have since been elected. And June K. Robinson, MD, served as secretary-treasurer from 1998 to 2000, with two women taking the role since and a third poised to take it over when the incumbent completes her term.
Female dermatologists outnumber their male counterparts among the Academy’s younger members; 63 percent of respondents to the AAD’s 2012 Dermatology Practice Profile Survey under 40 were women, as were 52 percent of respondents between 40 and 49. The future is clear: Women will continue to play an increasingly important role in dermatology’s future, and the majority of dermatologists are likely to be women within a decade.