Background & Aims: Women comprise 19% of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) membership. We performed a prospective study to determine whether female gastroenterologists were less likely to achieve career advancement and satisfaction. Methods: We administered an online survey to AGA members from 2004-2006. The survey contained questions regarding effects of gender on career advancement, satisfaction with career, promotional policies, and integration of family and career. Results: A total of 457 individuals (response rate 9% after 2 major invitations) completed the survey, including 262 (57%) women (20% in private practice, 53% in academic careers, and 27% trainees) and 195 men (23% in private practice, 58% in academic careers, and 19% trainees). The male gastroenterologists were significantly older (P < .005) and in their careers for significantly more years (P = .002). There were no significant differences with respect to marital status, number of children, or number of hours worked between the genders. Men were more likely to achieve the rank of full professor (P = .035), and significantly more women reported that gender affected their career advancement (47% vs 9%; P < .001). Women in academic careers reported less satisfaction with their careers (P = .01) and perceived more difficulty in achieving promotion and tenure. Women were more likely to choose private practice careers because of part-time options (P = .025). Equal numbers of men and women in practice reported difficulty balancing work and family life. Conclusions: Significantly more female than male gastroenterologists perceive that gender has affected their career advancement. Female academic gastroenterologists reported less overall career satisfaction and promotion than male academic gastroenterologists.
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