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Acad Med. 2012 Dec;87(12):1722-33. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318271e57b.

The road to an academic medicine career: a national cohort study of male and female U.S. medical graduates.

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Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.



To explore the relationship between gender and full-time faculty appointment in a national cohort of contemporary U.S. medical school graduates.


The authors analyzed deidentified, individual records for the 1998-2004 national cohort of U.S. medical graduates using multivariate logistic regression to identify predictors of full-time faculty appointment through July 2009. They reported adjusted odds ratios (aOR) significant at P < .05.


Of 66,889 graduates, 12,038 (18.0%) had held full-time faculty appointments. Among all graduates, women (aOR = 1.21) were more likely than men to have held faculty appointments. Among only male graduates, those who participated in research during college (aOR = 1.08), who entered medical school with greater planned career involvement in research (aOR = 1.08), and who authored/coauthored a research paper during medical school (aOR = 1.12) were more likely, and those with higher debt were less likely (aOR = 0.96), to have held faculty appointments. Among only faculty appointees, higher proportions of men than women had participated in medical school research electives (63.5% [3,899/6,138] versus 54.2% [3,197/5,900]; P < .001) and authored/coauthored research papers during medical school (44.1% [2,707/6,138] versus 33.6% [1,981/5,900]; P < .001); female faculty had reported higher debt at medical school graduation than had male faculty (P = .014).


In this national cohort of U.S. medical graduates, women were more likely than men to have held full-time faculty appointments. However, male and female faculty appointees entered academic medicine with different research experiences and debt, possibly impacting their academic medicine career trajectories.

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