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NEJM CareerCenter Conversations: Women Physicians in Leadership Roles

Photo from AAMC State of Women in Academic Medicine, 2013-2014.

This is part 1 of a 6 part series featuring women physicians.

The share of medical degrees earned by women increased from 5% in 1952 to 48% in 2011. Despite this, data continues to show that women hold fewer leadership roles.

The percentage of women medical school faculty has increased from 26% in 1997 to 37% in 2012. However, women make up only 20% of full professors. In 2007, 14 of 124 medical school deans were women. Deans are usually chosen from medical department chairs, but in 2007, only 20 women were medical department chairs.

More recently, the article, "Subspecialty and Gender of Obstetrics and Gynecology Faculty in Department-Based Leadership Roles," published in February 2015, highlighted that leadership disparities still exist. In obstetrics and gynecology departmental administrative leadership roles, women comprised 20.4% of chairs, 36.1% of vice chairs, and 29.6% of division directors.

This forum seeks to hear from women physicians about their real world experiences, explore why these leadership discrepancies exist, seek solutions to the problem, and give advice to young women physicians and students about how to proceed with their careers.

The NEJM CareerCenter is your trusted source for physician career resources and the latest physician job openings in the United States.

In a continuing effort to provide valuable resources, we’ve curated physicians with special career expertise and experience for the NEJM CareerCenter Conversations series. In conjunction with Medstro, we are excited to start a dialogue on career issues that impact the modern day physician.

For this special series spotlighting women physicians, the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) joins us to lead the discussion on career issues that women in medicine face today.

Regardless of where you are in your career, we hope these topics spark productive and educational discussions.

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