Female cancer patients are more likely to be undertreated which can lead to worse outcomes. Female physicians have been shown to provide more patient-centered, empathetic care. Gender equity in healthcare can reduce gender disparities in cancer care and outcomes. This study analyzed gender trends of Hematology and Oncology fellows (HOFs), Internal Medicine Residents (IMRs), medical school matriculants (MSMs), and the US census.


The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Data Resource Book and Association of American Medical Colleges Applicant Matriculant Data File were used to extract gender data of US HOFs, IMRs, and MSMs from 2012-2022. Chi-square tests compared the proportion of male and female HOFs in 2021-2022 to IMRs, MSMs, and US Census Data. Cochrane-Armitage test analyzed the gender trend of HOFs from 2012-2022 using R software V 4.2.1. No IRB was required as data was publicly available.


There were fewer female HOFs than male HOFs in all years analyzed. Chi-square analysis demonstrated significant underrepresentation of female HOFs (p<.00001) in 2021-2022 when compared to MSMs and census data, but no significant difference when compared to IMRs. The percentage of female HOFs in 2021-2022 was 44.6%, compared to 43.8% of IMRs (foldchange of 1.02), 55.6% of MSMs (foldchange of -1.24), and 50.4% of the population (foldchange of -1.12). Despite increased number of HOFs, trend analysis from 2012-2022 demonstrated a significant decrease in proportion of female HOFs (p<.01).


This study revealed underrepresentation of female HOFs despite relative overrepresentation of female MSMs when compared to US census data, and a decreasing proportion of female HOFs over the past decade, which may widen gender disparities in cancer treatment. Fortifying the pipeline for female HOFs is a key step towards increasing quality of care and treatment for female cancer patients.