Speaker Introductions at Grand Rounds: Differences in Formality of Address by Gender and Specialty

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of women's health (2002)

MeSH Headings

Child; Female; Humans; Male; Medicine; Sexism; Societies, Medical; Teaching Rounds


Despite increasing representation of women in medicine, gender bias remains pervasive. The authors sought to evaluate speaker introductions by gender in the grand rounds of multiple specialties at a large academic institution to understand the cultural context of this behavior and identify predictors of formality. The authors reviewed grand rounds recordings of speakers with doctorates presenting to the departments of family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics at one institution from 2014 to 2019. The primary outcome was whether a speaker's professional title was used as the first form of address. The authors assessed factors correlated with professional introduction using multivariable logistic regression. Speakers were introduced professionally in 346/615 recordings (56.3%). Female introducers were more likely to introduce speakers professionally (odds ratio [OR]: 2.52). A significant interaction existed between speaker gender and home institution: female speakers visiting from an external institution were less likely than male external speakers to be introduced professionally (OR: 0.49), whereas female speakers internal to the institution were more likely to be introduced professionally than male internal speakers (OR: 1.75). Use of professional titles varied by specialty and was higher than average for family medicine (83.2%), surgery (75.8%), and pediatrics (64.0%) and lower for internal medicine (37.5%) and obstetrics and gynecology (50.7%). These findings suggest a complex relationship between gender and formality of introduction that merits further investigation. Understanding differences in culture across specialties is important to inform efforts to promote equity.

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