Career satisfaction of leaders in academic dermatology: Results from a national survey

Mona Sadeghpour, Sarah M. Sung, Heidi Jacobe, Alexa B. Kimball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: A positive correlation between leadership roles and job satisfaction has been noted in some areas of business. Since senior leaders in academic dermatology appear to be more satisfied than their junior colleagues, a similar relationship may be important in dermatology. Objective: To determine if there is an association between leadership roles and career satisfaction of academic dermatologists. Methods: A cross-sectional, anonymous survey was mailed to 1263 academic dermatologists across the US. Participants were questioned on demographics and career satisfaction. Academic rank and position was compared with career satisfaction. Results: The leadership cohort was comprised of 140 (77%) men and 41 (23%) women (p < 0.01). Leaders were significantly more satisfied in their careers than non-leaders (65% versus 36%, p < 0.01), and were also less likely to leave academia. Factors related to career satisfaction included satisfaction with the promotion process (p < 0.01), presence of career development programs (p < 0.02), physician health (p < 0.01), and the ability to achieve balance in one's personal and professional lives (p = .0.01). Our analysis also demonstrated a gender gap within the leadership sector, with female leaders reporting less satisfaction overall with their career (44% versus 71%, p < 0.01), with the tenure/promotion process at their institutions (89% vs. 68%, respectively, p < 0.01), as well as their personal and professional balance (49% vs. 80%, p < 0.01) compared to their male leaders counterparts respectively. However, there was no difference in the likelihood of leaving academia between male and female leaders. Conclusion: Academic leaders overall had higher career satisfaction than non-leaders, and were more likely to stay within academia. Despite this, patterns of gender disparities in the academic dermatology leadership persist with males outnumbering females in the leadership pool, and male leaders reporting higher levels of satisfaction compared to their female counterparts, as well as perceiving fewer challenges in finding balance between their personal and professional lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Academic dermatology
  • Attrition
  • Career satisfaction
  • Gender
  • Leaders
  • Rank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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