Equity challenges for women in neurology, AUPN’s Leadership Minute debut, and fall meeting nears…


The Voice of Academic Neurology's Leaders
 

We are proud to announce the debut of AUPN’s Leadership Minute, which is now live at the link below.  The Leadership Minute is a brief, highly focused summary of practical advice for Chairs, Program Directors and other leaders in academic neurology, delivered as mini-podcasts or in short form videos.  The goal of this new program is to provide relevant and useful information in a modicum of time, designed to fit seamlessly into our very busy schedules. If you would like to submit topic ideas for future segments, please click on the referenced link below.  Those who submit a topic that is selected for a future segment will receive a thank you gift from AUPN.

By virtue of our position as Chairs, we are frequently asked to write letters of recommendation by medical students and others, sometimes after a minimum of contact. Today’s Leadership Minute covers how to best deal with this and other trainee recommendation requests, along with tips for what is best to include in the letter.  It features Dr. Rohit Das, Medical Student Clerkship Director at UT Southwestern, and is moderated by Dr. Alissa Willis, Chair of Neurology at the University of Mississippi. Thanks to Drs. Willis and Das, and to the Media Engagement Committee for this great new initiative. 

In a recent issue of this newsletter, we touched on the problem of under-representation of disadvantaged minorities in academic neurology and recommended some steps academic neurology should take towards improvement.  However, women are also under-represented in academic neurology, especially in leadership roles, and this inequity has also been the subject of much discussion over the last 20 years. After so much deliberation, how much progress has actually been made? 

Using the current AUPN Chair database we found that, of 148 U.S. neurology departments, only 22 are chaired by women (15%).  In a 2015 survey of all academic medical school departments by the AAMC, only 12% of department chairs and only 16% of Deans were women.  A study published in JAMA Neurology in 2018 analyzed 29 of the top-ranked academic neurology programs in the US and reported that 31% of faculty members were women, 69% were men and this discrepancy widened with advancing academic rank.  Another 2018 AAMC survey confirmed this trend, with women in neurology representing 47% of assistant professors, 38.5% of associate professors and 20.8% of professors.  These references are linked below.

Potential causes for these discrepancies include individual implicit bias, explicit bias and gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and structural sexism in some workplace cultures. Additionally, societal expectations of child and family caregiving as principally female responsibilities may also place a disproportionate share burden on many female faculty members outside the workplace.Academic medicine and academic neurology have just begun to address these issues over the last few years, with initiatives encouraging mentoring and networking among female faculty, as well as faculty and leadership development programs.  However, much more needs to be done. 

As the leaders of academic neurology nationally and chairs of our own departments, we have a responsibility to encourage and promote female leadership at all levels, including within our national organizations as presidents, officers and board members; as editors of leading neurology and neuroscience journals; as deciders on grant review panels at the NIH and elsewhere, and as recipients of major awards.  At the institutional level, we need to ensure that female faculty are supported, mentored and prepared for on-time promotion to each academic rank; are mentored and supported in sponsored research; are not given an unequal share of clinical or other duties which might impede their academic development, and we must also do our best so see that they are promoted to leadership roles both within and outside of the department, including service on major medical school, university and hospital committees and at the highest levels of senior leadership.  Beyond this, we need to also take whatever steps are necessary to create a work environment free from bias and harassment, with truly equal opportunity for all.  A detailed discussion of these issues is referenced in the below links. 

Finally, the AUPN and ANA virtual fall meetings are nearly upon us. You must register for the ANA Annual Meeting to access the AUPN Fall Programming, which will be CME accredited. We look forward to seeing you there!

Clifton L. Gooch, MD
AUPN President


Today’s Resource Links

AUPN’s Leadership Minute: Trainee Recommendation Requests (Free)
A brief, highly focused summary of practical advice for Chairs, Program Directors, and other leaders in academic neurology, delivered as mini-podcasts or in short form videos.  Today’s Leadership Minute covers how to deal with trainee recommendation requests, along with tips for what is best to include in the letter.  Featuring Dr. Rohit Das, Medical Student Clerkship Director at UT Southwestern, and moderator Dr. Alissa Willis, Chair of Neurology at the University of Mississippi.   
https://vimeo.com/461113052

Submit suggestions for future segments: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2020LeadershipMinute

Women in Neurology:  Equity Resources
Understanding and addressing gender equity for women in neurology
(Neurology 2019;93:12. Subscription Access)
This detailed review and policy article provides a broad overview of the challenges facing women in academic neurology and discusses some potential solutions
https://n.neurology.org/content/93/12/538#T3

US Medical School Faculty by Sex, Rank and Department, 2018 (AAMC, Free)
From the 2018 AAMC survey of U.S. Medical Schools.

https://www.aamc.org/system/files/2020-01/2018Table13.pdf

Sex Differences in Academic Rank and Publication Rate at Top-Ranked US Neurology Programs
(JAMA Neurology JAMA Neurol. 2018;75: 956–961.  Subscription Access) Results from an analysis of 29 of the top-ranked academic neurology programs in the US.
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/2676799

Registration: AUPN & ANA Fall Meetings & Career Fair
Register for the AUPN Meeting at AUPN Meeting Registration, and for the ANA meeting at 2020.myana.org.  Due to our shared virtual platform, you must register for the ANA meeting to be able to register for the AUPN meeting.  AUPN registration is a member benefit at no extra charge and ANA Meeting registration is free for ANA members this year (join the ANA at ANA Membership).  ANA-AUPN Career Fair registration (fee) is at https://2020.myana.org/program/sessions/ana-aupn-career-fair

Listen to the premiere episode of AUPN’s Leading Edge Podcast:  “So you want to be a Dean? Pros, cons, joys and tribulations

Apple & iTunes
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/aupns-leading-edge/id1526866851

Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/show/4V06AeCebOVxu5tHpb9BEs

Google
https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hdXBubGUubGlic3luLmNvbS9yc3M

 
     
 
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Case Western Reserve University SOM: Professor & Chair - Dept. of Neurology
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University of Pittsburgh: Professor & Chair - Department of Neurology

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