Possible reasons why female physicians publish fewer scientific articles than male physicians - A cross-sectional study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Medical Education. 2015, 15 (67) 10.1186/s12909-015-0347-9
Background The proportion of women in medicine is approaching that of men, but female physicians are still in the minority as regards positions of power. Female physicians are struggling to reach the highest positions in academic medicine. One reason for the disparities between the genders in academic medicine is the fact that female physicians, in comparison to their male colleagues, have a lower rate of scientific publishing, which is an important factor affecting promotion in academic medicine. Clinical physicians work in a stressful environment, and the extent to which they can control their work conditions varies. The aim of this paper was to examine potential impeding and supportive work factors affecting the frequency with which clinical physicians publish scientific papers on academic medicine. Methods Cross-sectional multivariate analysis was performed among 198 female and 305 male Swedish MD/PhD graduates. The main outcome variable was the number of published scientific articles. Results Male physicians published significantly more articles than female physicians p <. 001. In respective multivariate models for female and male physicians, age and academic positions were significantly related to a higher number of published articles, as was collaborating with a former PhD advisor for both female physicians (OR = 2.97; 95% CI 1.22–7.20) and male physicians (OR = 2.10; 95% CI 1.08–4.10). Control at work was significantly associated with a higher number of published articles for male physicians only (OR = 1.50; 95% CI 1.08–2.09). Exhaustion had a significant negative impact on number of published articles among female physicians (OR = 0.29; 95% CI 0.12–0.70) whilst the publishing rate among male physicians was not affected by exhaustion. Conclusions Women physicians represent an expanding sector of the physician work force; it is essential that they are represented in future fields of research, and in academic publications. This is necessary from a gender perspective, and to ensure that physicians are among the research staff in biomedical research in the future.