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Physician Work Environment and Well-Being
July 12, 2021

Toward Gender Equity in Academic Promotions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 3Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(9):1155-1156. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.3471

Promotion in academic medicine drives career opportunities, including leadership roles and salary increases. Yet women physicians face slower promotional timelines and are less likely to reach associate or full professorship compared with their male counterparts, a gap that has not meaningfully changed in more than 3 decades.1 In 2019, only 26% of full professors and 39% of associate professors in US medical schools were women despite representing 48% of assistant professors and 43% of all full-time US medical school faculty.2 These disparities are even worse for women in underrepresented minority groups. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a worrisome backslide.3 In leaving unrealized the full potential of female faculty, these disparities are detrimental to medicine as a whole.

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