Today is International Women’s Day. The theme this year is #BalanceforBetter, because gender balance benefits us all. Although this day is not a holiday in Singapore, there are still several commemorative events that have taken place.

It also got me thinking about women who are infectious diseases specialists in Singapore. With the help of Google and a few clarifications with colleagues, we estimated the relative percentages of our women colleagues practicing adult infectious diseases at this point in time (do correct me if some figures are wrong!):

  • Private sector: 25.0%
  • Changi General Hospital: 83.3%
  • Khoo Teck Puat Hospital: 66.6%
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital: 75.0%
  • National University Hospital: 50.0%
  • Sengkang General Hospital: 33.3%
  • Singapore General Hospital: 65.0%
  • National Centre for Infectious Diseases: 44.4%
  • Total: 53.8%

So actually, there are more women than men in our specialty here in Singapore (the Microbiology blogger has found similar results while tabulating the list for women microbiologists…). However, the majority of infectious diseases departments/units in the public sector are currently still headed by men (71.4%), although the top position related to the field of infectious diseases in Singapore – the Executive Director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases – is held by one of the most remarkable women in our specialty.

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Infectious diseases, Singapore