Asian/Pacific Islander women in medical education: personal and professional challenges.


Asian/Pacific Islander women in medical education: personal and professional challenges.


Wear D


Teaching and learning in medicine




PURPOSE: The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify the complex issues facing Asian/Pacific Islander (API) women students at one Midwestern medical school as they subjectively experience their medical training. Of particular interest was how students navigated family influences, career planning, and ethnic and gender stereotypes. SUMMARY: Sixty-five percent of the students reported that their parents exerted various degrees of encouragement or pressure to enter medicine. The remaining students said that the decision was entirely theirs (20%) or that the decision had been made for them (15%). Many reported the larger Asian "community" as a source of influence. A slight majority of students thought they were perceived by faculty as being "quiet," often too quiet. With only 1 exception, all of the students believed that their cultural identity influenced their specialty choice. Stressors reported by students centered on competition, achievement, and formation of intimate relationships (i.e., dating). CONCLUSIONS: Medical educators who provide personal and professional support for API women students should be keenly aware of the career, gender, and family issues that emerge at the intersection of API and Euro-American cultures. Faculty development should include an educational component on issues of concern to API students, men and women. Faculty also need to wrestle with the cultural values of "modesty, respect for authority, public self-consciousness, and other directness" as they intersect with assertion as a primary value found in Euro-American culture in general and in medical education in particular.


*Asian Americans; Career Choice; Cultural Diversity; Decision Making; Family; Female; Humans; Medical/*psychology; Students; Women/*psychology


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Wear D, “Asian/Pacific Islander women in medical education: personal and professional challenges.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed June 7, 2023,