December 13th: Plenty of moustaches but not enough women (BMJ Christmas special)

December’s MedRadJClub will be a festive chat about healthcare leadership. Wehner et al’s paper discusses sex-related disparities in academic medical leadership in the US. While 50% of medical students are women, only 13% (137/1018) of department leaders at the top 50 NIH funded medical schools in the US are women. Why the difference? Is it because they don’t have moustaches? is it the same for MRS leadership? Tune in on December 13th to find out.

Wehner M R. Nead K T. Linos K. Linos E. Plenty of moustaches but not enough women: cross sectional study of medical leaders. BMJ. 2015; 351

This month’s blog is by Amanda Bolderston who recommends you have a glass or two of sherry while reading it.


  1. The study authors used a cross sectional analysis of institutional websites to identify leaders with facial hair and developed a moustache index, derived from multinomial logistic regression analyses. What do you think of this method, is it robust? Are there other ways of investigating this?
  2. The authors concluded that “we believe that every department and institution should strive for a moustache index ≥1”. How could we tackle this in our own institutions to encourage more female leaders? Should we?
  3. One strategy suggested was to increase “temporal flexibility” in job structures such as control over work schedules (e.g. for childcare) . Would this work for our profession and what do you think of it?
  4. Having solved the issue of the lack of women in healthcare leadership – let’s wind down with your favourite Christmas cracker joke! *

We have some MedRadJClub mugs to give away! All participants will be entered in a random draw after the chat. Merry Christmas!

Times: Vancouver 1pm (13th)/Toronto 4pm/UK 9pm/Sydney 8am (14th)/Wellington 10am



*Topical example: Q: What is the difference between snowmen and snow-women? A: Snow balls!

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