Gender Issues in Academic Hospital Medicine: a National Survey of Hospitalist Leaders

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Background: Gender inequities are documented in academic medicine. Within General Internal Medicine (GIM), there are fewer female division directors and first and last authors on publications. With gender parity in US medical school graduates and with Academic Hospital (AH) medicine being a relatively newer discipline, one might postulate that AH would have less gender inequity. Design: A national survey of AH programs was developed via literature review and expert recommendations. Domains included program and faculty information. Gender of the leader was determined via website or telephone call. Participants: Leaders of AH programs associated with the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). Programs without a primary teaching hospital or hospitalist program and those not staffed by university-affiliated physicians were excluded. Main Measures: Description and characteristics of leaders and programs including a multivariable analysis of gender of hospitalist leaders and the portion of female faculty. Key Results: 59% response rate (80 of 135); there were no differences between responders/non-responders in NIH funding (p = 0.12), type of institution (p = 0.09), geographic region (p = 0.15), or year established (p = 0.86). Reported number of female and male faculty were approximately equal. 80% of hospitalist leaders were male; 37% of male hospitalist leaders were professors, no female leaders were professors. In univariate and multivariate analysis only the number of hospitals staffed was a significant predictor of having a female hospitalist leader. There were no significant predictors of having fewer female faculty. Conclusion: This study demonstrated gender inequality in academic hospital medicine regarding leadership and rank. Though there was equal gender distribution of faculty, among leaders most were men and all “full professors” were men. As diversity benefits the tripartite mission research on methods, initiatives and programs that achieve gender equity in leadership are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1641-1646
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • gender
  • hospital medicine
  • hospitalist leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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