In the past two decades, the feminization of medicine has been evident worldwide. There has also been a steady increase in women choosing psychiatry as a medical specialty. The data from Zarin et al. (1998) from USA reveal the increase from 14% to 25% of women in psychiatry in the period 1982-96. More recently, in Canada there were 34% of women in psychiatry (Garfinkel et al, 2004), while in Switzerland 64% of residents who chose psychiatry were female (Buddeberg-Fisher et al, 2006).
In Serbia, however, the ratio seems to be the highest. According to data from Medical School, University of Belgrade, 80% of the residents who passed the board exam in psychiatry in 2005 were women, compared to 70% in 1995. Not only that gender-asymmetry was evident a decade before, but the trend toward feminization of psychiatry increases in Serbia. According to our knowledge, similar proportion of women in psychiatry was not reported in the literature before.
Several publications yielded that proportion of women in leadership positions in academic psychiatry have not kept pace with increase in number of women entering the field, that women were in less-influential positions and took part in fewer organisational activities (Reisser et al, 1993; Kohen & Arnold, 2002). However, Serbian example is different: in 2005-2007, 80% of academic psychiatric institutions had female leadership, women had the most-prominent positions in psychiatric associations and in the most of the organizational activities that took place recently.
The further impact of given gender-asymmetry in Serbia remains unclear.