FIGURE 4 Medical college faculty by rank and gender, 2001.

SOURCE: Association of American Medical Colleges.

  • Few schools, hospitals, and professional societies have a “critical mass” of women leaders.

  • The pool of women from which to recruit academic leaders remains shallow.

Based on these findings, the task force came to the following conclusions:

  • The current wastage of the potential of women is of growing importance.

  • Only those institutions able to recruit and retain women will maintain the best house staff and faculty.

  • The long-term success of academic health centers is inextricably linked to the development of women physicians.

Recent research on women’s careers has found that women face many more challenges than men in obtaining career-advancing mentoring. Related to this, many men have difficulty effectively mentoring women. Isolation reduces women’s capacity for risk-taking, often translating into a reluctance to pursue professional goals or a protective response such as perfectionism. Finally, without being conscious of their “mental models” of gender, both men and women still tend to devalue women’s work and to allow women a narrower band of assertive behavior.

The task force developed the following recommendations:

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