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The Road to an Academic Medicine Career: A National Cohort Study of Male and Female U.S. Medical Graduates

Andriole, Dorothy A. MD; Jeffe, Donna B. PhD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318271e57b
Careers in Academic Medicine

Purpose: To explore the relationship between gender and full-time faculty appointment in a national cohort of contemporary U.S. medical school graduates.

Method: The authors analyzed deidentified, individual records for the 1998–2004 national cohort of U.S. medical graduates using multivariate logistic regression to identify predictors of full-time faculty appointment through July 2009. They reported adjusted odds ratios (aOR) significant at P < .05.

Results: Of 66,889 graduates, 12,038 (18.0%) had held full-time faculty appointments. Among all graduates, women (aOR = 1.21) were more likely than men to have held faculty appointments. Among only male graduates, those who participated in research during college (aOR = 1.08), who entered medical school with greater planned career involvement in research (aOR = 1.08), and who authored/coauthored a research paper during medical school (aOR = 1.12) were more likely, and those with higher debt were less likely (aOR = 0.96), to have held faculty appointments. Among only faculty appointees, higher proportions of men than women had participated in medical school research electives (63.5% [3,899/6,138] versus 54.2% [3,197/5,900]; P < .001) and authored/coauthored research papers during medical school (44.1% [2,707/6,138] versus 33.6% [1,981/5,900]; P < .001); female faculty had reported higher debt at medical school graduation than had male faculty (P = .014).

Conclusions: In this national cohort of U.S. medical graduates, women were more likely than men to have held full-time faculty appointments. However, male and female faculty appointees entered academic medicine with different research experiences and debt, possibly impacting their academic medicine career trajectories.

Dr. Andriole is assistant dean for medical education and associate professor of surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Jeffe is professor of medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, and director, Health Behavior, Communication, and Outreach Core, Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Andriole, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Ave., Campus Box 8210, St. Louis, MO 63110; telephone: (314) 362-4312; fax: (314) 362-7204; e-mail: andrioled@wustl.edu.

© 2012 Association of American Medical Colleges