Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 227–234

Work-Family Balance and Academic Advancement in Medical Schools

Special Article

DOI: 10.1176/appi.ap.30.3.227

Cite this article as:
Fox, G., Schwartz, A. & Hart, K.M. Acad Psychiatry (2006) 30: 227. doi:10.1176/appi.ap.30.3.227



This study examines various options that a faculty member might exercise to achieve work-family balance in academic medicine and their consequences for academic advancement.


Three data sets were analyzed: an anonymous web-administered survey of part-time tenure track-eligible University of Illinois College of Medicine (UI-COM) faculty members conducted in 2003; exogenous data regarding the entire UI-COM faculty; and tenure rollback (“stop-the-clock”) usage by all tenure track-eligible UI-COM faculty from 1994 to 2003.


The data reveal a gender split in career-familybalance priorities that affect academic advancement among part-time faculty. Women select part-time status for child care; men choose part-time to moonlight. Similarly, among all faculty members seeking tenure rollbacks women request rollback for child care; men request rollback for other reasons. Among all faculty members, full-time men were more likely to be on the tenure track than any other group. Needs identified by the part-time faculty survey include improved mentoring in track selection, heightened awareness of options such as tenure rollback and provision of equitable benefits and opportunities.


Policy changes, such as a prorated tenure track, are needed to support a family-friendly culture with flexibility throughout the career lifespan for both men and women medical faculty.

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical EducationChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsShorewood HillsUSA
  3. 3.College of MedicineUniversity of IllinoisChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA