HSC Leads Study on Barriers to Success for Women

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 18, 2009 Contact: Luke Frank, Media Relations Manager, 505/272-3679; cell 505/907-9525NIH-supported research will analyze recruitment, retention, and promotionALBUQUERQUE, NM – UNM recently was awarded one of 14 grants to investigate the culture change needed to improve recruitment and retention of women in science. Ultimately, this research should lead to policy recommendations for professional development to improve women faculty representation at the highest leadership levels in academic medical institutions.

Funded by a National Institutes of Health million-dollar grant, the study will be conducted over four years by researchers from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) also is collaborating on the grant. Specifically, the study will assess the impact of participation in intensive career-development training programs on individual women faculty at early and mid-career stages. The study will evaluate three, long-standing, nationally renowned programs and compare the career success of women who participated in the programs to women and men, at the same career stages, who did not participate. “ The statistics show that, historically, retention and promotionof women in academic medicine have not kept pace with that of men in the same institutions ,” says study Principal Investigator Deborah L. Helitzer, Sc.D., UNM professor of Family and Community Medicine and assistant dean for research education . “As a result,there have been national efforts to improve these indicators. This project will help us determine whether participating in any one or more of these programs influences the retention and promotion rates of women faculty.” The programs are t he AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar, the AAMC Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar, and the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. For more information on the NIH study, visithttp://womeninscience.nih.gov/. For more information on the HSC’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, visithttp://hsc.unm.edu/som/fcm/

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