can start making the business case, rather than just the ethical case, for why this work is important. It is likely to mean a better bottom line. Those institutions, according to AAMC President Jordan Cohen, that fail to seize the advantages offered by elevating talented women to positions of power are destined to be eclipsed by those who do.
Participant (Dr. Herbert Pardes): Do you have information on the relative interests of women versus men in going into science in their freshman year or their incoming years before college? I’m looking for what kind of change takes place within the medical schools.
Ms. Bickel: I’ll check to see whether the AAMC‘s Matriculating Student Questionnaire contains that item that I showed you. All we know at this point is that women are more likely than men to lose their research intentions during medical school.
Participant: Do you think your findings are relevant to an individual institution?
Ms. Bickel: Absolutely. We believe the recommendations are just as relevant for individual medical schools as they are for societies. The principles are the same whether adopted by a department chair or a dean or the president of a society.
And like Dr. Morahan, I highly recommend Deborah Myerson’s book on tempered radicals and thinking in terms of the challenges and opportunities of being a change agent and when it is possible and when it is not possible to be effective in situations. How do you build coalitions, whether you’re the only woman or the only racial minority in a large area? How do you go about making the changes that you believe would benefit the organization and that you particularly value? Obviously, we need the support of meetings like this to inspire each other as well. Isolation is death when it comes to this kind of work.