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Comment and Controversy

End gender bias in recruitment ads

February 2005 · Vol. 17, No. 2
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Dr. Barbieri’s December editorial (“EasyROAD—high road or path of least resistance?”) made no mention of the gender discrepancy in Ob/Gyn residencies, and how men are overtly and covertly dissuaded from applying. This takes many forms, some as blatant as advising male students to apply to other specialties. Others are subtle, such as the discriminatory practices in recruitment ads. For example, in the same issue as this editorial, a recruitment ad lists a “dynamic practice of 3 females seeking additional Ob/Gyn.” I also noted subtle ethnic bias in the same issue, in the ad for a “busy Polish Ob/Gyn practice.”

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission considers it discriminatory to mention the sex of employees during recruitment. I would like to see OBG MANAGEMENT pledge to follow the Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines, and refuse to submit to pressure from recruiters. Let us encourage strong candidates to enter our specialty regardless of race, sex, religion, ethnic background, or gender orientation.

Thomas A. Raskauskas, MD
Providence, RI

Dr. Barbieri responds:

Although OBG MANAGEMENT’s policy has always been not to accept employment advertisements that suggest or condone discrimination, Dr. Raskauskas’ comments prompted us to add more explicit language to our guidelines, which now state that “all advertisements for employment must be nondiscriminatory and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Ads that discriminate against applicants based on sex, age, race, religion, marital status, or physical handicap will not be accepted.”

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