Increasing Women's Leadership in Academic Medicine: Report of the AAMC Project Implementation Committee

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

The AAMC's Increasing Women's Leadership Project Implementation Committee examined four years of data on the advancement of women in academic medicine. With women comprising only 14% of tenured faculty and 12% of full professors, the committee concludes that the progress achieved is inadequate.

Because academic medicine needs all the leaders it can develop to address accelerating institutional and societal needs, the waste of most women's potential is of growing importance. Only institutions able to recruit and retain women will be likely to maintain the best housestaff and faculty. The long-term success of academic health centers is thus inextricably linked to the development of women leaders.

The committee therefore recommends that medical schools, teaching hospitals, and academic societies (1) emphasize faculty diversity in departmental reviews, evaluating department chairs on their development of women faculty; (2) target women's professional development needs within the context of helping all faculty maximize their faculty appointments, including helping men become more effective mentors of women; (3) assess which institutional practices tend to favor men's over women's professional development, such as defining “academic success” as largely an independent act and rewarding unrestricted availability to work (i.e., neglect of personal life); (4) enhance the effectiveness of search committees to attract women candidates, including assessment of group process and of how candidates' qualifications are defined and evaluated; and (5) financially support institutional Women in Medicine programs and the AAMC Women Liaison Officer and regularly monitor the representation of women at senior ranks.

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