From the vision of female residents at the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Indiana University School of Medicine, the Women in Radiology group was established in 2013 and provides camaraderie and mentorship for female medical students, trainees and faculty. The group strives to strengthen discussion, improve collaboration and create a sense of community among women radiologists through philanthropic endeavors, academic discussions, outreach to girls and young women and social gatherings.
Learn about the importance of women in radiology from current and past program members and stay informed about upcoming events and funds that are enabling more diversity at IU School of Medicine.
“The longer I’ve been in this department, the more I realize that not only can women do this job, but they can thrive in this field.”
Vasantha Aaron, MD, program co-director
After residents realized the crucial need for female representation in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, the Women in Radiology group began to support and promote the personal and professional development of female radiologists.
Through the group’s mentoring program, female IU School of Medicine residents are paired with staff radiologists across the nation, reinforcing networking connections for all involved. The inclusion of a variety of training levels and subspecialties fosters an active, nationwide network of women radiologists eager to continue to improve the field of radiology in a collaborative way.
Residents and faculty regularly participate in monthly and annual lectures and discussions. From Work Life Balance Lectures and Sunday brunches, to group events that increase awareness and understanding of issues unique to women in radiology—the group addresses concerns of women both within and beyond the realm of medicine.
Is the group only for women?
No. The Women and Radiology group strives to ensure everyone is given the room to discuss the importance of workplace diversity.
How many practicing radiologists are women?
As of 2017, less than 22 percent of practicing radiologists were women.
Are there many publications on women in radiology?
Why does the representation of women in radiology matter?
Everything is better when everyone has a seat at the table. Not only do diverse work forces enhance innovation, but improving the experience for those underrepresented in medicine will also make education and training better for all.
Female radiology faculty, residents and technologists participated in the 2022 Sycamore School Girls' STEAM Conference in Indianapolis, where sixth through eighth-grade girls learned what radiology is and participate in hands-on activities including ultrasounding phantoms. These phantoms were created using gelatin, Metamucil and a glove filled with water. At the event, radiologists demonstrated needle aspiration and showed students how using ultrasound to guide the needle into the "cyst" takes practice.
Gender disparities in radiology
The gender disparity in radiology is greater than many other specialties in medicine. Only 30 percent of radiology trainees and 25 percent of practicing radiologists are women. Currently, this is in stark contrast to the equal gender distribution in medical school enrollment, and this disparity has persisted for more than 30 years. The Women in Radiology group at IU School of Medicine is setting the stage for improved representation in the field of radiology.
Through collaborative environments, engaging lectures, pipeline opportunities and more— the department's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has worked to break down walls that prevent others from achieving their goals. The DEI Committee is committed to celebrating difference, foster cultural competence, nurture empathy and humility, and provide inspiration to everyone in the department.
Vasantha D. Aaron, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology & Imaging Sciences