AMWA to Address the Leaky Pipeline for Women in Medicine

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  • January 22, 2018

Fixing the Pipeline

Statistical data regarding the number of women entering medical school over the past decade have indicated that more than 47% of entering medical students are women (AAMC Women in Medicine Benchmark Statistics). Yet the number of practicing women physicians over the past decade has remained below 35% with most recent estimates around 32.6% of active physicians (AAMC 2014 Physician Data Bank Report). When looking more closely at the numbers of women in leadership positions, the percentages are discouragingly low, especially within top leadership positions.

This phenomenon of the leaky pipeline for women in medicine is not new. With the increasing influx of women in medicine over the past decade, it is concerning that the problem continues to exist; if anything, the gap seems to be widening.

We propose to launch a 2-year initiative, Fixing the Pipeline, to identify:

  1. The time points where women are exiting the medical profession
  2. The risk factors for these time points
  3. Possible solutions to address these risk factors
  4. Interventions that would help retain women in the medical profession

This initiative would look at women all stages of their biomedical careers, as students, residents in training, researchers, and practicing physicians. Both academic and non-academic careers would be studied.

Timeline:

  1. Preparatory Phase (2018) – begin literature review, gather statistics, identify national partners and institutions, and set up meetings
  2. Year 1 (2018 – 2019) – identify the time points and risk factors for women who leave the medical profession
    • Comprehensive literature review of the past and current research on this issue
    • Review / analyze available data sets from national organizations and institutions
    • Identify data trends
    • Convene organizations, institutions, and leaders through meetings, focus groups, or summits.
    • Conduct in-depth institutional and organizational analyses
  3. Year 2 (2019 – 2020) – identify possible solutions to address these risk factor and interventions that would help retain women in the medical profession.
    • Establish working groups to focus on particular issues and identify solutions
    • Engage institutions and organizations to discuss these solutions
    • Develop interventions
  4. Post Year 2 (2020 and beyond) – Widespread implementation of interventions and monitoring of  data points at 5 and 10 with the goal of improving “fixing the pipeline.”

Seeking grant funding for:

  • Administrative project support
  • Research and data analysis
  • Meetings and focus groups
  • Program Development
  • Publications and Printing

To get involved, e-mail AssociateDirector@amwa-doc.org.

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