Inequality of professional status in medicine among individuals based on gender can compromise patient care, undermine trust, and damage the working environment. Physician leaders in medical schools and medical institutions should advocate for increased leadership in medicine among individuals of underrepresented genders and equitable compensation for all physicians.
Collectively, physicians should actively advocate for and develop family-friendly policies that:
- Promote fairness in the workplace, including providing for:
- Retraining or other programs that facilitate re-entry by physicians who take time away from their careers to have a family
- On-site child care services for dependent children
- Job security for physicians who are temporarily not in practice due to pregnancy or family obligations
- Promote fairness in academic medical settings by:
- Ensuring that tenure decisions make allowance for family obligations by giving faculty members longer to achieve standards for promotion and tenure
- Establish more reasonable guidelines regarding the quantity and timing of published material needed for promotion or tenure that emphasize quality over quantity and encourage the pursuit of careers based on individual talent rather than tenure standards that undervalue teaching ability and overvalue research
- Fairly distribute teaching, clinical, research, administrative responsibilities, and access to tenure tracks
- Structuring the mentoring process through a fair and visible system
- Take steps to mitigate gender bias in research and publication.
AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: II, VII
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