I recently applied for academic faculty jobs all across the county. I was lucky enough to have interviewed all across the country, and had the opportunity to meet countless amazing Emergency Physicians. I spent nights in 5 star hotels, had a private driver pick me up from the airport, eaten amazing meals, and flown first class.
While I am glad I went on each and every interview, and could not be more excited about my future career, many interview itineraries lacked something. Something important for a young female, who is looking for mentorship during her first academic job.
They lacked female Emergency Physicians.
I am not asking for a 100% female interview or department, but I was hoping to meet women in leadership positions. A strong female, who could help guide me through the politics of my new job and a new department.
During this experience, I keep looking back on my chief year. When myself and the only female in residency administration made sure one of us was at each and every interview day. This meant many a 24hour+ days for each of us, but we knew the importance of meeting a female on interview day.
With each and every interview, I feared that there were no women to meet.
For the first time in history, female medical school matriculants outnumber their male counterparts (by an incredibly slim margin). Unfortunately, women in leadership positions in academic medicine continue to remain much lower than expected.
In 2011, according to Women in U.S. Academic Medicine and Science: Statistics and Benchmarking Report, women represented 47 % of accepted applicants, 47% of matriculants, 47% of first‐ year enrollments, and 48% of graduates at all LCME‐accredited U.S. medical schools. Despite the fact that women make up approximately half of all medical students and residents and 1/3 of full‐time faculty, women remain underrepresented in leadership positions.
Of all women full‐time faculty, only 13% are full professors.
In Emergency Medicine, only 56 women have full professorships, compared to 3,544 men. That means 0.015% (56/3600) of full professors in Emergency Medicine are female!
In 2011, there were no permanent leadership positions in which the proportion of women was greater than that of men
As I deal with all of these feelings, I think back to the women who pioneered medicine and Emergency Medicine. They created a seat at the table for themselves. I'm hoping as time passes, I can be a part of the women occupying more of those seats.