For those who missed it, ALiEM and FemInEM collaborated on 10/21/15  for a Google Hangout to discuss the recent JAMA article “Sex Differences in Academic Rank in U.S. Medical Schools in 2014” by Jena et al.  In brief, the study’s authors utilized the Doximity database to assess for gendered differences in rank among physicians at academic medical centers.  Looking at over 90,000 physicians with an amalgamation of both externally reported and self-verified data on publications, funding, rank and experience in the field, the study concluded that correcting for the previously mentioned factors, women remain substantially less likely than men to achieve the rank of full professor.

By looking across institutions with a large sample size and correcting for factors conventionally cited as reasons women fall behind,  Dr. Jena’s work  joins a ever-growing body of evidence that documents the persistence of gender bias in medicine.   Women in academic medicine have long perceived this issue, and while more tangible evidence that validates the disadvantages women often face  is always welcome, we hope to shift the conversation into its next phase and ask what solutions we can create to address this problem head on.  On 10/21, the study’s author Dr. Anupam Jena joined Dr. Dara Kass, Dr. Stephanie Abbuhl, Dr. Alyssa Westring and Dr. Kinjal Sethuraman for an exciting discussion on the article’s impact and what we can do within our own institutions to effect change for women.  

The conversation doesn’t have to stop there; we would like to invite the FemInEM readership to join us for an open discussion about innovative solutions to gender disparities.  We hope that this journal club will serve as a launching point for broader ongoing discussion of how to create an institutional culture and practices  that empower women to be recognized for and achieve their leadership potential.

See all the comments at ALiEM or tweet to #FemInEMJC