Promotion Rates for Assistant and Associate Professors in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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OBJECTIVE:To estimate promotion rates of physician faculty members in obstetrics and gynecology during the past 30 yearsMETHODS:Data were collected annually by the Association of American Medical Colleges from every school between 1980 and 2009 for first-time assistant and associate professors to determine whether and when they were promoted. Data for full-time physician faculty were aggregated by decade (1980–1989, 1990–1999, 2000–2009). Faculty were included if they remained in academia for 10 years after beginning in rank. Data were analyzed by constructing estimated promotion curves and extracting 6-year and 10-year promotion rates.RESULTS:The 10-year promotion rates (adjusted for attrition) declined significantly for assistant professors from 35% in 1980–1989 to 32% in 1990–1999 to 26% in 2000–2009 (P<.001), and for associate professors from 37% to 32% to 26%, respectively (P<.005). These declines most likely resulted from changes in faculty composition. The most recent 15 years saw a steady increase in the proportion of entry-level faculty who were women (now 2:1) and primarily on the nontenure track. The increasing number of faculty in general obstetrics and gynecology had lower promotion probabilities than those in the subspecialties (odds ratio 0.16; P<.001). Female faculty on the nontenure track had lower promotion rates than males on the nontenure track, males on the tenure track, and females on the tenure track (odds ratio 0.8 or less; P<.01).CONCLUSION:A decline in promotion rates during the past 30 years may be attributable to changes in faculty composition.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:II

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