Assuring Gender Safety and Equity in Health Care: The Time for Action Is Now

Lynn E. Fiellin, MD & Darilyn V. Moyer, MD

This article appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine in the American College of Physicians (ACP)

TIME’S UP, a national effort to ensure workplace safety and equity, was launched in 2018 in response to allegations of sexual harassment and assault by persons in the entertainment industry and propelled the long-established #MeToo movement back into the public eye. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which has collected more than $22 million in donations, was established to connect persons who have experienced workplace sexual harassment to legal services. Further, TIME’S UP has affiliates in the press, advertising, and venture capital.

Issues of sexual and gender harassment and gender inequity have infiltrated all fields and industries, and health care is no exception. Thirty percent to 50% of female physicians or physicians in training report sexual harassment (1, 2). Therefore, on 1 March 2019, TIME’S UP Healthcare ( was established to bring to the medical field the parent organization’s efforts to hasten action and solutions. Herein, we address concerns regarding gender safety and equity in health care and describe the TIME’S UP Healthcare organization, its goals and activities, and its new partnership with the American College of Physicians (ACP).

A 2018 report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine brought the crisis of sexual harassment in health care to the fore (1). The report covers research describing sexual harassment from the perspective of students, trainees, and faculty. Sexual harassment, a form of discrimination, is composed of gender harassment (the most common form), including verbal and nonverbal hostile behaviors based on one’s…

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