PURPOSE: To evaluate the relationships between both internal and external career-motivating factors and academic productivity (as measured by the total numbers of publications) among full-time medical faculty, and whether these relationships differ for men and women. METHOD: In 1995 a 177-item survey was mailed to 3,013 full-time faculty at 24 randomly selected U.S. medical schools stratified on area of medical specialization, length of service, and gender. Two-tailed t-tests and regression analyses were used to study the data. RESULTS: A total of 1,764 faculty were used in the final analyses. The women had published two thirds as many articles as had the men (mean, 24.2 vs. 37.8). Intrinsic and extrinsic career motivation were rated similarly (on a three-point scale) by the women and the men: intrinsic career motivation was rated higher (women's mean rating: 2.8, men's mean rating: 2.9) than was extrinsic career motivation (mean rating: 2.1 for both). The main findings of the regression analyses were (1) intrinsic career motivation was positively associated, and extrinsic career motivation was negatively associated, with the number of publications; (2) publication rates were higher for the men than for the women after controlling for career motivation; and (3) there was no significant effect of gender on these relationships. CONCLUSION: The women faculty published less than did their men colleagues, but this difference cannot be accounted for by gender differences in career motivation. Further research on institutional support, family obligations, harassment, and other factors that could affect academic productivity is necessary to understand the gender difference in numbers of publications.
Created Date: 19 March 1998; Completed Date: 19 March 1998; Revised Date: 18 December 2000
© 1998 Association of American Medical Colleges