Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 2011 - Volume 86 - Issue 8 > The Tipping Point: Academic Careers of Women in Medicine Tod...
Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318222dc1e
Letters to the Editor

The Tipping Point: Academic Careers of Women in Medicine Today

Reed, Darcy A. MD, MPH; Lindor, Keith D. MD

Free Access
Article Outline
Collapse Box

Author Information

Assistant professor of medicine, Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota; reed.darcy@mayo.edu. (Reed)

Professor of medicine and dean, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota. (Lindor)

Back to Top | Article Outline

In Reply:

We wholeheartedly agree with the call by Arora and Galanos for innovative solutions to the problem of gender disparity in academic medicine. They are correct that the problem is complex, long-standing, and does not appear to be rapidly changing.

We also agree that women need both effective mentors to provide hands-on guidance with career development and also positive role models to inspire and lead by example. Considerable research has examined the attributes and impact of mentors and role models in medicine1 and suggests that the two are distinct.2 In settings where there are few gender-concordant mentors and role models, peer mentoring is a creative solution.3 This approach emphasizes collaboration among teams of individuals with shared career goals, which may be particularly appealing to women, who appear to value a collaborative work style.4

In addition to bolstering mentoring, role modeling, and other support for women, we recommend that institutions consider appropriate measures for the recognition and selection of leaders in medicine. Since traditional measures may not align with every individual's goals, personal values, motivations, or career trajectory,5,6 broadening the way accomplishments are recognized and individuals are rewarded may enhance the ability of both women and men to maximally contribute to institutions and the profession.

Darcy A. Reed, MD, MPH

Assistant professor of medicine, Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine,

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota;

reed.darcy@mayo.edu.

Keith D. Lindor, MD

Professor of medicine and dean, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine,

Rochester, Minnesota.

Back to Top | Article Outline

References

1 Humphrey HJ, ed. Mentoring in Academic Medicine. Philadelphia, Pa: ACP Press; 2010.

2 Levinson W, Kaufman K, Clark B, Tolle SW. Mentors and role models for women in academic medicine. West J Med. 1991;154:423–426.

3 Files JA, Blair JE, Mayer AP, Ko MG. Facilitated peer mentorship: A pilot program for academic advancement of female medical faculty. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008;17:1009–1015.

4 Carr PL, Pololi L, Knight S, Conrad P. Collaboration in academic medicine: Reflections on gender and advancement. Acad Med. 2009;84:1447–1453. http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2009/10000/Collaboration_in_Academic_Medicine__Reflections_on.37.aspx. Accessed April 28, 2011.

5 Wright SM, Beasley BW. Motivating factors for academic physicians within departments of medicine. Mayo Clin Proc. 2004;79:1145–1150.

6 Pololi L, Kern DE, Carr P, Conrad P, Knight S. The culture of academic medicine: Faculty perceptions of the lack of alignment between individual and institutional values. J Gen Intern Med. 2009;24:1289–1295.

© 2011 Association of American Medical Colleges

Login

Article Tools

Share