Experiencing the Culture of Academic Medicine: Gender Matters, A National Study

Women's Studies Research Center, National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine: C - Change, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA, .
Journal of General Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.42). 02/2013; 28(2):201-207. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-012-2207-1
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ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Energized and productive faculty are critical to academic medicine, yet studies indicate a lack of advancement and senior roles for women. OBJECTIVE: Using measures of key aspects of the culture of academic medicine, this study sought to identify similarity and dissimilarity between perceptions of the culture by male and female faculty. DESIGN: The C - Change Faculty Survey was used to collect data on perceptions of organizational culture. PARTICIPANTS: A stratified random sample of 4,578 full-time faculty at 26 nationally representative US medical colleges (response rate 52 %). 1,271 (53 %) of respondents were female. MAIN MEASURES: Factor analysis assisted in the creation of scales assessing dimensions of the culture, which served as the key outcomes. Regression analysis identified gender differences while controlling for other demographic characteristics. KEY RESULTS: Compared with men, female faculty reported a lower sense of belonging and relationships within the workplace (T = -3.30, p < 0.01). Self-efficacy for career advancement was lower in women (T = -4.73, p < 0.001). Women perceived lower gender equity (T = -19.82, p < 0.001), and were less likely to believe their institutions were making changes to address diversity goals (T = -9.70, p < 0.001). Women were less likely than men to perceive their institution as family-friendly (T = -4.06, p < 0.001), and women reported less congruence between their own values and those of their institutions (T = -2.06, p < 0.05). Women and men did not differ significantly on levels of engagement, leadership aspirations, feelings of ethical/moral distress, perception of institutional commitment to faculty advancement, or perception of institutional change efforts to improve support for faculty. CONCLUSIONS: Faculty men and women are equally engaged in their work and share similar leadership aspirations. However, medical schools have failed to create and sustain an environment where women feel fully accepted and supported to succeed; how can we ensure that medical schools are fully using the talent pool of a third of its faculty?

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Available from: Robert Thomas Brennan, Sep 27, 2015
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    • "org/members/gwims/statistics). Based on these data, many women decide to stay in academic medicine following completion of postgraduate medical training, but only a few are promoted to the full professor level — despite evidence that men and women are equally engaged in their work and share similar leadership aspirations [2]. If it is not lack of motivation, or lack of ability [1], subtle gender bias may be a factor that is an impediment for women in academic medicine. "
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    ABSTRACT: Based on their review of abstracts submitted to the German Cardiac Society, Boehm et al. (2014) report better success of female vs male cardiologists publishing in journals with an impact factor ≥5. However, only 25% of conference abstracts were submitted by women, perhaps suggesting a paucity of women in academic cardiology. In this 'letter to the editor' we review gender statistics in the medical field using Germany and the US as examples. While women are well represented in early career stages, only fewfull professors are women. This reflects a wasted opportunity to benefit from the best of both genders. Recent gender research has shown that subtle gender bias may play a role. To change the gender statistics in academic medicine a multifaceted approach is necessary. This will ultimately lead to a more equal representation of women in senior roles, and bring science, medical care, and leadership to a new level. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    International Journal of Cardiology 12/2014; 182C:227-228. DOI:10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.12.077 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    • "Three previous questionnaire-based studies demonstrated that gender-based discrimination (GD) and SH were prevalent in undergraduate medical education as well as among medical school faculty (13–15). A 2013 study measuring the key aspects of academic medicine culture noted that though male and female medical academicians were equally engaged in their work and had similar professional aspirations, medical institutions have failed to provide an environment supporting and accepting of women in medicine (14). Another recent study surveyed 4,578 full-time faculty from 26 representative US medical schools and noted that gender was not predictive of intentions for leaving academic medicine (15). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background : Many studies have assessed perspectives of medical students toward institutional diversity, but few of them have attempted to map changes in diversity climate over time. Objective : This study aims to investigate changes in diversity climate at a Jesuit medical institution over a 12-year period. Methods : In 1999, 334 medical students completed an anonymous self-administered online survey, and 12 years later, 406 students completed a comparable survey in 2011. Chi-square tests assessed the differences in percent responses to questions of the two surveys, related to three identities: gender, race, and sexual orientation. Results : The 1999 versus 2011 samples were 46% versus 49% female, 61% versus 61% Caucasian, and 41% vs. 39% aged 25 years or older. Findings suggested improvements in medical students' perceptions surrounding equality 'in general' across the three identities (p<0.001); 'in the practice of medicine' based on gender (p<0.001), race/ethnicity (p=0.60), and sexual orientation (p=0.43); as well as in the medical school curriculum, including course text content, professor's delivery and student-faculty interaction (p<0.001) across the three identities. There was a statistically significant decrease in experienced or witnessed events related to gender bias (p<0.001) from 1999 to 2011; however, reported events of bias based on race/ethnicity (p=0.69) and sexual orientation (p=0.58) only showed small decreases. Conclusions : It may be postulated that the improvement in students' self-perceptions of equality and diversity over the past 12 years may have been influenced by a generational acceptance of cultural diversity and, the inclusion of diversity training courses within the medical curriculum. Diversity training related to race and sexual orientation should be expanded, including a follow-up survey to assess the effectiveness of any intervention.
    Medical Education Online 02/2014; 19(1):23401. DOI:10.3402/meo.v19.23401 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Equally unsupported is the explanation that women are less committed to their careers because of family and other personal responsibilities. Recent studies have suggested that a balance between work and other activities is as important to men as it is to women, at least among the younger physicians [14-16], and that there is no significant gender difference in the reported importance of career advancement or in the extent to which work and personal life conflicted [11,17]. Another proposed explanation, the lack of quality in the work produced by women, has been dismissed by Housri and colleagues [18], who showed an increased frequency with which female authors are cited as well as an increased rate of publication in the journals with higher impact factors [18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: During the past 50 years, the participation of women in medicine has increased dramatically. However, this encouraging influx has not been accompanied by equality for male and female faculty in terms of rank attainment, leadership roles and salaries. There is considerable evidence that women are still under-represented in the higher echelons of academic medicine, either as heads of departments, authors of scientific papers or members of editorial boards. Participation in medical congresses is another important measure of medical achievement; this manuscript comments on the female representation in four of the largest international meetings in the field of intensive care medicine (ICM). It notes the scarcity of female faculty members and proposes several explanations for this phenomenon. The notable under-representation of women in the ICM congresses suggests the existence of a 'glass ceiling' in the field of intensive care medicine, a specialty that, up until today, hasn't been considered as traditionally 'male'.
    Critical care (London, England) 01/2012; 17(1):112. DOI:10.1186/cc11859 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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