Medical school research ranking is associated with gender inequality in MSTP application rates

Caitlin J. Bowen, Calvin J. Kersbergen, Olive Tang, Andrea Cox, Mary Catherine Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The number of female trainees in MD and biomedical PhD programs has reached near parity with their male counterparts for several years. However, a gender disparity persists for enrollment in Medical Scientist Research Programs (MSTPs). Several studies suggest women underestimate their abilities compared with male colleagues. If this phenomenon applies, we might expect there to be a gender disparity in applicants to MSTPs, which are typically considered more competitive compared to MD or PhD programs. In this report, we explored this hypothesis by evaluating whether female applicants who do apply to MSTP programs disproportionately apply to lower ranking programs when compared to male applicants. Methods: For each institution, we identified their 2016 U.S. News and World Report "Best Medical Schools: Research" ranking and examined trends across rankings using linear regression models, such as relationships between the percentage of female applicants and other factors that may influence where applicants apply. Results: The female applicants who do apply to MSTP programs apply disproportionately to lower ranking programs. Despite this, women seem to have the same success rate for gaining admission to MSTPs, as indicated by matriculation rates across programs, regardless of program rank. Conclusions: Our findings of gender disparity in applications to high-ranking but not low-ranking programs support prior hypotheses that under-confidence or lack of encouragement may drive this inequality. This analysis highlights the need for further systematic studies of gender differences in MSTP applicants and the relationship to career trajectories in order to improve the gender disparity that exists in academic medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number187
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2018

Fingerprint

school research
ranking
gender
applicant
women's studies

Keywords

  • Academic medicine
  • Gender inequality
  • MD-PhD
  • Medical school applications
  • MSTP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

Medical school research ranking is associated with gender inequality in MSTP application rates. / Bowen, Caitlin J.; Kersbergen, Calvin J.; Tang, Olive; Cox, Andrea; Beach, Mary Catherine.

In: BMC Medical Education, Vol. 18, No. 1, 187, 06.08.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{7af012610db640669acc0fb956e34278,
title = "Medical school research ranking is associated with gender inequality in MSTP application rates",
abstract = "Background: The number of female trainees in MD and biomedical PhD programs has reached near parity with their male counterparts for several years. However, a gender disparity persists for enrollment in Medical Scientist Research Programs (MSTPs). Several studies suggest women underestimate their abilities compared with male colleagues. If this phenomenon applies, we might expect there to be a gender disparity in applicants to MSTPs, which are typically considered more competitive compared to MD or PhD programs. In this report, we explored this hypothesis by evaluating whether female applicants who do apply to MSTP programs disproportionately apply to lower ranking programs when compared to male applicants. Methods: For each institution, we identified their 2016 U.S. News and World Report {"}Best Medical Schools: Research{"} ranking and examined trends across rankings using linear regression models, such as relationships between the percentage of female applicants and other factors that may influence where applicants apply. Results: The female applicants who do apply to MSTP programs apply disproportionately to lower ranking programs. Despite this, women seem to have the same success rate for gaining admission to MSTPs, as indicated by matriculation rates across programs, regardless of program rank. Conclusions: Our findings of gender disparity in applications to high-ranking but not low-ranking programs support prior hypotheses that under-confidence or lack of encouragement may drive this inequality. This analysis highlights the need for further systematic studies of gender differences in MSTP applicants and the relationship to career trajectories in order to improve the gender disparity that exists in academic medicine.",
keywords = "Academic medicine, Gender inequality, MD-PhD, Medical school applications, MSTP",
author = "Bowen, {Caitlin J.} and Kersbergen, {Calvin J.} and Olive Tang and Andrea Cox and Beach, {Mary Catherine}",
year = "2018",
month = "8",
day = "6",
doi = "10.1186/s12909-018-1306-z",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "18",
journal = "BMC Medical Education",
issn = "1472-6920",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Medical school research ranking is associated with gender inequality in MSTP application rates

AU - Bowen, Caitlin J.

AU - Kersbergen, Calvin J.

AU - Tang, Olive

AU - Cox, Andrea

AU - Beach, Mary Catherine

PY - 2018/8/6

Y1 - 2018/8/6

N2 - Background: The number of female trainees in MD and biomedical PhD programs has reached near parity with their male counterparts for several years. However, a gender disparity persists for enrollment in Medical Scientist Research Programs (MSTPs). Several studies suggest women underestimate their abilities compared with male colleagues. If this phenomenon applies, we might expect there to be a gender disparity in applicants to MSTPs, which are typically considered more competitive compared to MD or PhD programs. In this report, we explored this hypothesis by evaluating whether female applicants who do apply to MSTP programs disproportionately apply to lower ranking programs when compared to male applicants. Methods: For each institution, we identified their 2016 U.S. News and World Report "Best Medical Schools: Research" ranking and examined trends across rankings using linear regression models, such as relationships between the percentage of female applicants and other factors that may influence where applicants apply. Results: The female applicants who do apply to MSTP programs apply disproportionately to lower ranking programs. Despite this, women seem to have the same success rate for gaining admission to MSTPs, as indicated by matriculation rates across programs, regardless of program rank. Conclusions: Our findings of gender disparity in applications to high-ranking but not low-ranking programs support prior hypotheses that under-confidence or lack of encouragement may drive this inequality. This analysis highlights the need for further systematic studies of gender differences in MSTP applicants and the relationship to career trajectories in order to improve the gender disparity that exists in academic medicine.

AB - Background: The number of female trainees in MD and biomedical PhD programs has reached near parity with their male counterparts for several years. However, a gender disparity persists for enrollment in Medical Scientist Research Programs (MSTPs). Several studies suggest women underestimate their abilities compared with male colleagues. If this phenomenon applies, we might expect there to be a gender disparity in applicants to MSTPs, which are typically considered more competitive compared to MD or PhD programs. In this report, we explored this hypothesis by evaluating whether female applicants who do apply to MSTP programs disproportionately apply to lower ranking programs when compared to male applicants. Methods: For each institution, we identified their 2016 U.S. News and World Report "Best Medical Schools: Research" ranking and examined trends across rankings using linear regression models, such as relationships between the percentage of female applicants and other factors that may influence where applicants apply. Results: The female applicants who do apply to MSTP programs apply disproportionately to lower ranking programs. Despite this, women seem to have the same success rate for gaining admission to MSTPs, as indicated by matriculation rates across programs, regardless of program rank. Conclusions: Our findings of gender disparity in applications to high-ranking but not low-ranking programs support prior hypotheses that under-confidence or lack of encouragement may drive this inequality. This analysis highlights the need for further systematic studies of gender differences in MSTP applicants and the relationship to career trajectories in order to improve the gender disparity that exists in academic medicine.

KW - Academic medicine

KW - Gender inequality

KW - MD-PhD

KW - Medical school applications

KW - MSTP

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85051088271&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85051088271&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s12909-018-1306-z

DO - 10.1186/s12909-018-1306-z

M3 - Article

C2 - 30081928

AN - SCOPUS:85051088271

VL - 18

JO - BMC Medical Education

JF - BMC Medical Education

SN - 1472-6920

IS - 1

M1 - 187

ER -