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Saudi Med J. 2004 Nov;25(11):1564-7.

Saudi women in academic medicine. Are they succeeding?

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  • 1Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



The main purpose of this study is to assess the achievements and barriers to advancement for Saudi women in a medical academic setup.


We studied the career progression of female medical graduates, who were appointed an academic position in King Faisal University, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) between 1982 and 2003 and compared it to the male counterpart. The information was collected from the Dean's ship of admission and registration, employees and faculty affairs administration office, self completed and telephone surveys.


The percentage of medical graduates who were appointed on an academic post in the University was 4.4% for females and 4% for males. The females specialized in various fields and progressed equitably with the males in their postgraduate studies. Academic promotion to higher ranks was slower for females in comparison to males. This was related to various reasons related to family responsibilities, social strains, lack of family friendly policies in the institutions, lack of mentoring relationship, and bias against females.


Saudi women in academic medicine have succeeded at the junior level. They specialized in various fields and excelled. Their further academic progression needs the support of senior academic staff, the chairs and the institution administration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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