[Women's academic careers in medicine]

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2007 Aug 23;127(16):2109-12.
[Article in Norwegian]


Background: Few female doctors hold top academic positions at the University of Oslo. A working group was appointed by the Faculty of Medicine to investigate possible reasons for this and to come up with recommendations on how to increase the fraction of female professors.

Material and methods: A questionnaire was sent to 875 medical graduates who had either completed or were taking a PhD at the University of Oslo. Two focus group interviews were also performed, one with female and one with male graduates.

Results: The questionnaire response rate was 42%. The genders did not differ concerning motivation to pursue academic careers, and they both wished to have better access to combined positions (academic and clinical work). Women needed more positive signals on being wanted as researchers. For women below 45 years of age, academic and clinical role models and a good network were considered to be especially important. Women emphasized the importance of equality at home and at work for pursuing an academic career more than men.

Interpretation: The gender imbalance among medical professors will not resolve itself. Young women should be more actively identified and encouraged to pursue academic careers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Career Mobility*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Physicians, Women*
  • Research Personnel
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce