Perceptions of Gender and Race Equality in Leadership and Advancement among Military Family Physicians

Mariama A. Massaquoi, Tyler R. Reese, John Barrett, Dana Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: There is increasing interest in assessing gender and race-based disparities in academic medicine and healthcare leadership in civilian medicine and the U.S. Military Health System. Approximately 15% of U.S. active duty service members are women, and racial minorities are 30% of the total active duty force. This study evaluates the following factors among uniformed services family physicians: gender and race representation in attaining early career leadership positions during training and 2 years postresidency; perceptions regarding leadership opportunities and career advancement. Methods: Registered attendees (n = 300) of the 2016 Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians Annual Meeting were given a voluntary and anonymous online questionnaire. The main outcomes measured were early leadership assignments and perceptions about command/leadership support, gender roles in leadership assignment, confidence to achieve leadership goals, and being passed over for leadership positions. Results: Sixty-eight percent of registered attendees completed the study questionnaire. Statistically significant results, adjusting for service, grade, race, and gender, were that non-Caucasian family physicians were less likely to be chief residents (odds ratio 0.23, 95% CI 0.01-1.00) and less likely to have leadership positions within 2 years postresidency (odds ratio 0.30, 95% CI 0.10-0.91). Female family physicians were more likely to agree that gender has a role in assigning leadership positions (odds ratio 2.33, 95% CI 1.01-5.39). There were no differences in perceptions of command support for leadership; confidence in achieving desired leadership level; or in being passed over for leadership positions. Conclusions: This study provides important information about perceived gender and race equality among uniformed services family physicians. Key findings included that non-Caucasian military family physicians were less likely to attain junior leadership positions or be assigned to academic settings; and female respondents were more likely to agree that gender has a role in assignment of leadership positions. Evaluating composite personnel records of services' family physicians would provide invaluable information to complement this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-766
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume186
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

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