Determinants of career structure and advancement among Italian cardiologists. An example of segregation and discrimination against women? SCIC Group. Studio Condizione Italiana Cardiologi

Eur Heart J. 1999 Sep;20(17):1276-84. doi: 10.1053/euhj.1999.1579.


Aims: The aim of this study was to analyse the processes through which job, career and research-related choices are determined in Italian cardiology, focusing on characteristics such as productivity, gender and family.

Methods and results: In June 1996, a questionnaire surveying individual and career-related data was mailed to all members (8000) of the Italian societies of cardiology. Returned questionnaires numbered 1715 (21.4% of the total mailed), 83% were completed by men and 17% by women. For both hospital and academic careers, advancement in rank was influenced by variables denoting productivity, family and individual characteristics. However, men and women showed slightly different patterns.

Conclusions: Promotion to the upper ranks of the hierarchy was highly dependent upon time (once the effects of the covariates were eliminated). This situation is typical of the internal labour market, that is, in institutions in which staff members are ranked on a hierarchical scale according to formal criteria that are 'rigid' and institutionalized, partially sheltered from competition. Therefore, once a member has gained access to the bottom of the hierarchy, the professional career is 'pre-determined' and seniority has an appreciable influence on promotion decisions; in this context, women appear to be at a disadvantage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration
  • Adult
  • Career Choice
  • Career Mobility*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Physicians, Women*
  • Prejudice*