Although there are numerous career development programs for women faculty, women continue to leave academic medicine at alarmingly high rates. This study will examine the impact on retention and career success of individual women faculty who participated in three long-standing national programs, each of which targeted a separate career stage, as compared to women and men, at the same career stages, who did not participate in these programs. This research also aims to elucidate the patterns and processes that contribute to the experience of individuals and their institutions as a means to identify the barriers and facilitators -historic and new, individual and institutional - that face women faculty in attaining positions of leadership at academic health centers (AHCs) and transforming institutional culture. Informed by the guidance of an Advisory Board composed of highly respected female and male senior leaders in academic medicine, the goal of the research is to assess the impact of participation in intensive career development training programs on individual women faculty at early and mid-career stages and their institutions, in terms of retention and promotion, while verifying and illuminating the ways in which participation in these programs affect career trajectories. We will attempt to discover how the findings on retention, academic promotion and administrative advancement are influenced by (i) individual dynamics and personal/professional development factors addressed in leadership development programs;(ii) organizational factors in institutions that send their women faculty to such programs;(iii) how these factors may have led to enhancement of leadership development and gender experience for women participating in these programs;and (iv) how the interaction of these factors has or can lead to a change in organizational culture to ensure the ability of institutions to capitalize on the intellectual capital of women science faculty members. Along with this retrospective analysis, we will prospectively identify new emerging challenges that affect women Assistant and Associate Professors attending intensive career development programs, and create an infrastructure for future research on retention and promotion. Additionally, this study will provide a comprehensive set of findings which can serve as the basis for a future design of an innovative women-focused leadership program as well as providing helpful information on the culture change needed to improve recruitment and retention of America's leading scientific minds.

Public Health Relevance

Although there are many career development programs for women faculty, women continue to leave academic medicine at alarmingly high rates. This research will assess the efficacy of three specific interventions that have been in place over the last 20 years to support women's career development within academic health centers. The results of this research will identify the ways in which interventions such as these can address the obstacles and facilitators, historic and new, individual and institutional, which face women faculty in attaining positions of leadership and help or hinder changing institutional culture.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HOP-B (50))
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Mann Koepke, Kathy M
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University of New Mexico
Family Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Helitzer, Deborah L; Newbill, Sharon L; Cardinali, Gina et al. (2016) Narratives of Participants in National Career Development Programs for Women in Academic Medicine: Identifying the Opportunities for Strategic Investment. J Womens Health (Larchmt) 25:360-70
Helitzer, Deborah L; Newbill, Sharon L; Morahan, Page S et al. (2014) Perceptions of skill development of participants in three national career development programs for women faculty in academic medicine. Acad Med 89:896-903
Magrane, Diane; Helitzer, Deborah; Morahan, Page et al. (2012) Systems of career influences: a conceptual model for evaluating the professional development of women in academic medicine. J Womens Health (Larchmt) 21:1244-51