BOX 3-3

Academic Medicine

During the last 30 years the share of women graduating from medical colleges has nearly reached parity with the share of male graduates. However, as shown in Figure B3-1, while the share of women students and faculty members was similar before 1974, since then, increases in the proportion of women medical school graduates have not translated into similar increases in the proportion of women in faculty positions.

FIGURE B3-1 Representation of women MDs in academic medicine faculty positions, 1965-2004.

ADAPTED FROM: Association of American Medical Colleges (2005). The changing representation of men and women in academic medicine. AAMC Analysis in Brief 5(2):1-2,

A Snapshot of the Current Situation for Female Faculty Members in Medicinea

  • The growth trajectories of women students and women faculty are now similar, but the dramatic increase in women students in the years 1974-1980 was not matched by any change in the rate of growth of women faculty (Figure B3-1).

  • The proportion of women in senior faculty positions in 2004 matched the proportion of women graduates in 1980 (Figure B3-2).

  • Across all levels of seniority, women medical faculty earn significantly lower salaries than male faculty. Minority-group faculty earn less than white faculty.

  • Women do not gain in academic rank at a rate that is proportional to their representation in medical school faculties.


aAS Ash, PL Carr, R Goldstein, and RH Friedman (2004). Compensation and advancement of women in academic medicine: Is there equity? Annals of Internal Medicine 141(3):205-212.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement