Grade Cards Highlight Gender Differences at US Medical Colleges

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Women now compose almost half of graduating medical doctors, but their representation among the faculty ranks has not increased at the same rate. While data regarding the numbers of female faculty and leaders has been collected since 1995, comparison of individual colleges of medicine has remained difficult. Academic Women for Equality Now compiled data into graphic scorecards for each school and has assembled these rankings into a single PDF, now available at no cost via their web site.

At the current rate of growth, gender parity will not be achieved in US Medical Colleges before the year 2100.

Academic Women for Equality Now announces Female Faculty Friendliness Grade Cards for each College of Medicine in the US in a single free PDF. The scorecards graphically demonstrate where women stand at each institution. Women fill only 22.5% of leadership positions, on average, with a range of 9.3 to 67.1%.

The scoring system grants points for each leadership position at a college of medicine from dean (10 points) to full professor (1 point). Points for women in these positions at each college were divided by the points for the total number of positions reported, and then multiplied by 100. Equal points for men and women would produce a score of 50. Institutions self-reported the data in these scores to the Association of American Medical Colleges; other information in the grade cards came from that provided to US News & World Reports for their annual higher education rankings.

Scores are reported for dean-level positions, department-level positions, full professors, and a composite score including all of these positions. These scores are easy to compare among colleges; eventually, they will also demonstrate changes over time within an institution.

Women now account for virtually half of graduating medical doctors in these schools, but the ranks of female faculty have not increased at the same rate. Women enter academic medicine at almost the same rate as men; gender parity will be achieved at the Assistant Professor (entry-level) rank by 2024. At the current rate of increase of women, the Professor (top-level) rank shows gender parity occurring in 2090. Increases in women’s leadership positions falls behind what would be predicted from graduation rates, with Deans not achieving parity until 2105.

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Pascale Lane
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