Route to the top: deans at North America's academic medical schools.

Spencer Stuart, Chicago, USA.
Physician executive 11/2007; 33(6):58-62.
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: To explore factors that may be involved in the persistent paucity of women leaders in U.S. academic medicine and to provide baseline gender-related data for developing strategies to promote gender equity in academic medicine leadership. Using data sets from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the authors examined the relationship of gender to career progression and to deanship characteristics by conducting descriptive and correlation statistical analyses for 534 full and interim deans (38 women; 496 men) appointed between 1980 and November 2006 (inclusive) to serve U.S. Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)-accredited medical schools. Although the number of women deans increased during the 27-year study period, the representation of women remains low (they constitute only 15% of deans appointed from 2000 to 2006) and has failed to keep pace with the percentages of women medical school faculty and students. On average, women deans-most with deanships at less research-intensive medical schools-obtained their initial doctorates from similarly less research-intensive schools, held more business-related advanced degrees beyond the original doctorate, took longer to be promoted to full professor, and had shorter tenures than did their men counterparts. Women leaders of U.S. LCME-accredited medical schools have taken longer to advance through the academic ranks, serve at less research-intensive institutions, and had shorter tenures than did men deans. These results underscore the challenges women leaders face in traditionally male-dominated organizations, and they provide baseline data to inform medical schools building inclusive senior leadership teams.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The challenges for senior academic leadership in medicine are significant and becoming increasingly complex. Adapting to the rapidly changing environment of health care and medical education requires strong leadership and management skills. This article provides empirical evidence about the intricate needs of department chairs to provide insight into the design of support and development opportunities. Method: In an exploratory case study, 21 of 25 (84%) department chairs within a faculty of medicine at a large Canadian university participated in semistructured interviews from December 2009 to February 2010. The authors conducted an inductive thematic analysis and identified a coding structure through an iterative process of relating and grouping of emerging themes. Results: These participants were initially often insufficiently prepared for the demands of their roles. They identified a specific set of needs. They required cultural and structural awareness to navigate their hospital and university landscapes. A comprehensive network of support was necessary for eliciting advice and exchanging information, strategy, and emotional support. They identified a critical need for infrastructure growth and development. Finally, they stressed that they needed improvement in both effective interpersonal and influence skills in order to meet their mandate. Conclusions: Given the complexities and emotional burden of their role, it is necessary for chairs to have a range of supports and capabilities to succeed in their roles. Their leadership effectiveness can be enhanced by providing transitional processes and supports, development, and mentoring as well as facilitating the development of communities of peers.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges