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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2004 Jun;38(6):470-6.

Women psychiatrists and research: so far, no further? An Australasian perspective on factors that encourage and hinder women psychiatrists' involvement in research.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne,St Vincent's Hospital, Victoria, Australia. favillm@svhm.org.au



Relatively few women psychiatrists conduct research during their careers. Little is known as to what accounts for this consistent finding. We sought to ascertain factors that might be pertinent among women Fellows of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP). Our long-term goal is to identify measures that could boost the proportion of women who become involved in research.


We submitted a questionnaire to the 670 women Fellows of the RANZCP in which we asked them whether they participated in research and what factors they considered helpful or detrimental to the pursuit of an interest in research.


Of the 375 (56%) respondents, 116 (31%) could be assigned to a researcher group (RG). Members of the RG more often identified features in their professional environment and access to mentors as facilitating research involvement compared to the non-researcher group (NRG). The RG had dedicated more time to research as well as to teaching, and less to clinical practice, compared to the NRG. Although family obligations affected both groups, the RG cited these as exerting less of an impact on their career than their non-researching colleagues.


Given the factors that distinguish researching from non-researching Fellows, attention needs to be paid to the ethos of the professional environment, mentoring, and training opportunities in research in order to increase the recruitment of women investigators.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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