Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Christine Ko

Subject Area(s)

Gender studies


Gender gaps in academic medicine are well-documented in the literature, but remain poorly understood in academic dermatology. The current study examines the role of gender in today's academic workforce by assessing for gaps in promotion, academic productivity, salary, and career satisfaction. In January 2009, 1,263 surveys were mailed to a directory of US academic dermatologists provided by the American Academy of Dermatology. Only full-time academic dermatologists holding an MD degree were included. Participants were questioned on: demographics, academic background and positions, training, salary, academic productivity, work effort, motivational factors, and career satisfaction. Assessment for gender disparities in relation to rank distribution, promotion-timeline, academic productivity, leadership positions held, salary, and career satisfaction was made. 259 of the respondents met inclusion criteria; 159 (61.4%) were men. Men held more senior positions (P<0.001) even after adjustment for age (P< 0.02), and number of years out since completion of residency (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in the weekly hours worked between men and women (P=0.052) and controlling for academic rank and years out after residency, decreased the size of the gap in number of publications (P=0.06) and grants received (P=0.19). The income gap across genders began to close when adjusted for academic rank and other measurements of productivity, although rank was the most important of these predictors. Though the majority of both men (90.3%) and women (83%) were satisfied with their academic career, women were 23.4% more likely than men to consider leaving academia (P<0.001). While many gender-based differences in academic dermatology have disappeared, differences in career track, academic rank distribution, leadership positions, and career satisfaction persist. Measures aimed at addressing sources of career dissatisfaction may increase academic retention.


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