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J Dent Educ. 2010 Apr;74(4):372-80.

Gender trends in dental leadership and academics: a twenty-two-year observation.

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Department of Restorative Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry, Chicago, IL 60612-7211, USA.


The purpose of this study was to examine gender disparities in dental leadership and academics in the United States. Nine journals that represent the dental specialties and high published impact factors were selected to analyze the percentage of female dentists' first and senior authorship for the years 1986, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2008. Data on appointment status and female deanship were collected from the American Dental Association (ADA) survey, and the trends were studied. The proportion of female presidents in ADA-recognized specialty organizations was also calculated. Overall, the increase in first female authorship was not statistically significant, but the increase of last female authorship was statistically significant in a linear trend over the years. The percentage of tenured female faculty members and female deans in U.S. dental schools increased by factors of 1.7 and 9, respectively, during the study period. However, female involvement in professional organizations was limited. Findings from this study indicate that female participation in authorship and leadership has increased over time. Nevertheless, females are still a minority in dental academics and leadership.

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