Comparing the status of women and men in academic medicine

Ann Intern Med. 1993 Nov 1;119(9):908-13. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-119-9-199311010-00008.


Objective: To explore the status and academic productivity of women compared with men in academic internal medicine.

Design: Mail survey done in 1986.

Setting: A total of 107 major teaching hospitals in the United States.

Participants: Full-time (1693 of 2510) faculty in cardiology, rheumatology, and general internal medicine; 67% of eligible men and 70% of eligible women.

Measurements: Academic productivity defined as research grants awarded, abstracts accepted, and papers published in refereed journals; academic advancement as determined by academic rank and tenure status; and monetary compensation.

Results: Women entered academic medicine with shorter periods of fellowship training and were less likely to be members in the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society, but they had job descriptions similar to those of men, with similar allocation of work between research, clinical, and teaching activities. After adjustment, women and men were similar in the numbers of research grants funded as principal investigator (1.9 compared with 2.0), abstracts accepted (6.8 compared with 6.1), and papers published in refereed journals (28.8 compared with 29.2; all with P > 0.20). Women were as likely as men to have tenure, but they had lower academic rank (full or associate professor; 33% compared with 47%, P < 0.001) and received less compensation ($72,000 compared with $79,600 annually; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Although women do similar professional tasks and achieve similar levels of academic productivity, they receive fewer rewards for their work, both in academic rank and monetary compensation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Physicians, Women / psychology*
  • Publishing
  • Research Support as Topic
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Self-Assessment
  • United States