In 1971, noted art historian and essayist Linda Nochlin asked the provocative question, “Why are there no great women artists?” The immediate response of some readers was to challenge the question and reply,“But certainly there are great women artists!” and to go on and mention painters such as Rosa Bonheur and Mary Cassatt.

What Ms. Nochlin proposes, however, is that this is not the correct question to ask. The correct question is: “What fosters greatness?” Women in the arts, up through the early 20th century,“dabbled.” Their works were not viewed seriously by art-related academies, and women were not granted entry to institutions where genius could be nurtured and fostered.

What, if any, is the parallel to women in pediatrics? After all, women now make up approximately 70% of pediatric residency programs and nearly 50% of AAP membership. How can there be “issues” when women are so prominent, at least in...

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