News in brief: Cardiology ward hit by COVID-19; Heart of Australia mobile cardiology clinics go north; Gender disparity in citations a career barrier for female academics in medicine

Cardiology ward hit by COVID-19

Cardiology and general surgery wards at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital  have been locked down by the latest outbreak of COVID-19 in NSW and have stopped accepting new patients, according to the ABC.

NSW Chief health officer Kerry Chant yesterday said more than 100 staff and patients have been identified as close contacts on the wards where an unvaccinated student nurse had worked from June 24 to June 28 while infectious.

Dr Chant said a second hospital staff member had tested positive and testing was being arranged for any staff that may have come in contact with the infected persons.

Heart of Australia mobile cardiology clinics go north

The Heart of Australia’s  mobile cardiology clinic has arrived by truck in northern Queensland, bringing specialist services to a number of remote and regional communities for the first time.

A $12 million funding boost from the federal government has allowed expansion of the program to four trucks and enabled the inaugural trip that brings city-based medical specialists to towns stretching from Cooktown to the Mackay Region, according to Heart of Australia Founder and cardiologist, Dr Rolf Gomes.

“Heart of Australia will bring specialists in cardiology, sonography, and sleep diagnostics to residents in Cooktown, Ayr, Sarina, and Proserpine,” he said.

One of the specialists taking part in the program is Dr Karam Kostner, Head of Cardiology at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital.

“It certainly saves many lives and it’s very important. Personally, I’ve seen many patients on my rotations who would not have been saved if it wasn’t for the truck,” he said.

Gender disparity in citations a career barrier for female academics in medicine

Women face an additional barrier to advancement in academic medicine because their articles published in medical journals have fewer citations than those written by men, a US study shows

An analysis of 5,554 articles published in 5 high-impact journals showed that, 36% had a female primary author, and 26% had a female senior author.

However, articles with women as primary author were cited a median of 36 times in other journals, compared to 54 citations of articles with male primary authors.

As senior authors, women were cited a median of 37 times, while male counterparts received a median of 51 citations.

The disparity is likely putting female academics at a disadvantage compared to their male peers because the number of citations of peer-reviewed articles is commonly used as a metric for academic recognition, influence, and in professional evaluations and promotion, the study authors said.

“This imbalance will not be solved through hiring and mentoring more women alone,” said senior author, Dr Rachel Werner of the University of Pennsylvania.

“We must also work to ensure that women already in academic medicine are equally valued and promoted for their contributions and their successes. From the journals publishing this work, to academic institutions promoting articles once published, everyone should be invested in bridging this gender divide.”


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