Book Review: Changing the Culture of Academic Medicine - Perspectives of Women Faculty
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Book Review: Changing the Culture of Academic Medicine — Perspectives of Women Faculty, by Linda H. Pololi

Qurat-ul-ain Jelani, New York University School Of Medicine,


In the field of medicine, the "glass-ceiling effect" still exists!

In cohort studies conducted by Lynn Nonemaker, Ph.D. around the year 2000 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the rates of advancement to the ranks of assistant, associate, and full professor for all US medical graduates and for all members of US medical school faculties from 1979-1993 and 1979-1997, respectively, were studied.  The conclusion from that study has been replicated in almost all subsequent studies; although women were more likely than men to pursue an academic career, the number of women who advanced to the ranks of associate and full professor was significantly lower than expected.  Another study showed that 59 percent of women achieve the rank of associate or full professor after roughly 11 years on the medical school faculty while for men, it was 83 percent.  Other studies show that women are over-represented in the ranks of junior faculty.  A study conducted by the Mongan Institute for Health Policy pointed out the disparity or gender gap in pay, even though female physicians were as qualified and accomplished as their male counterparts.  The reasons for the lack of women in leadership positions, their slow career advancements, and disparities in compensation have not been clearly outlined – fewer mentoring opportunities, family responsibilities, attrition, lack of necessary skills and lack of ambition for leadership have been cited in this regard.

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