In Pursuit of the MD: The Impact of Role Models, Identity Compatibility, and Belonging Among Undergraduate Women

In Pursuit of the MD: The Impact of Role Models, Identity Compatibility, and Belonging Among... Women continue to face gender-related challenges in the medical field in places around the world where it has traditionally been male-dominated, including in the U.S. In an online experimental study with women attending a mid-sized public university in the Northeastern U.S. (N = 55) who were interested in pursuing a pre-medical track (being pre-med) as undergraduates, we explored the mechanisms involved in undergraduate women’s pursuit of a career as a physician, focusing on three factors: exposure to successful female physician role models, perceived identity compatibility between being a woman and being pre-med, and sense of belonging in pre-med. Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental condition in which they were exposed to information about successful female physicians, or to a control condition in which no information about female physicians was provided. First, as hypothesized, participants exposed to successful female physicians reported higher perceived identity compatibility, sense of belonging, and interest in a medical career compared to those in the control condition. Second, also as hypothesized, perceived identity compatibility mediated the effect of role models on sense of belonging, and sense of belonging mediated the relationship between perceived identity compatibility and interest in a medical career. This study highlights three key factors in women’s pursuit of a career as a physician and the process through which these factors may operate. Findings support the use of role models to set a positive psychosocial process in motion that can support women’s persistence in medicine. Sex Roles Springer Journals

In Pursuit of the MD: The Impact of Role Models, Identity Compatibility, and Belonging Among Undergraduate Women

Loading next page...
Springer US
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


  • Gender and the pre-clinical experiences of female medical students: A taxonomy
    Babaria, P; Bernheim, S; Nunez-Smith, M

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial