Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 57–60 | Cite as

Examining Faculty Awards for Gender Equity and Evolving Values

  • Stephanie Abbuhl
  • Mirar N. Bristol
  • Hera Ashfaq
  • Patricia Scott
  • Lucy Wolf Tuton
  • Anne R. Cappola
  • Seema S. Sonnad



Awards given to medical school faculty are one important mechanism for recognizing what is valued in academic medicine. There have been concerns expressed about the gender distribution of awards, and there is also a growing appreciation for the evolving accomplishments and talents that define academic excellence in the 21st century and that should be considered worthy of award recognition.


Examine faculty awards at our institution for gender equity and evolving values.


Recipient data were collected on awards from 1996 to 2007 inclusively at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (SOM). Descriptions of each award also were collected. The female-to-male ratio of award recipients over the time span was reviewed for changes and trends. The title and text of each award announcement were reviewed to determine if the award represented a traditional or a newer concept of excellence in academic medicine.


There were 21 annual awards given to a total of 59 clinical award recipients, 60 research award recipients, and 154 teaching award recipients. Women received 28% of research awards, 29% of teaching awards and 10% of clinical awards. Gender distribution of total awards was similar to that of SOM full-time faculty except in the clinical awards category. Only one award reflected a shift in the culture of individual achievement to one of collaboration and team performance.


Examining both the recipients and content of awards is important to assure they reflect the current composition of diverse faculty and the evolving ideals of leadership and excellence in academic medicine.


faculty awards gender equity female-to-male ratio leadership excellence 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Abbuhl
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mirar N. Bristol
    • 3
  • Hera Ashfaq
    • 4
  • Patricia Scott
    • 2
  • Lucy Wolf Tuton
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Anne R. Cappola
    • 2
    • 8
  • Seema S. Sonnad
    • 9
    • 10
  1. 1.Emergency MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.FOCUS on Health & Leadership for WomenUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Medicine, Department of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of CardiologyUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  6. 6.Prevention and Population Health in the Department of Biostatistics and EpidemiologyUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  7. 7.Development for FOCUS on Health & Leadership for WomenUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  8. 8.Medicine and EpidemiologyUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  9. 9.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  10. 10.Department of SurgeryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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