Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Kit Kacirek

Committee Member

Kenda S. Grover

Second Committee Member

Julie M. Galliart


gender parity, leadership, osteopathic medicine, women


Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathic medicine, actively promoted gender parity in the field from its inception, at a time when few medical schools accepted women into their programs, and even fewer all-female medical schools existed (Quinn, 2017; Simpson & Weiser, 1996). Although an almost equal number of male and female students are enrolled in osteopathic medical schools, men far outnumber women in positions of leadership. While the data for the number of women deans and department chairs at osteopathic medical schools does not exist, research by the Association of American Medical Colleges (2021) showed that 24% of deans in allopathic medical schools were women. Utilizing open-ended, semi-structured interviews, this narrative case study will seek to provide understanding of the experiences of women deans and department chairs at an institution where 58% of the senior leadership are women. The institutional and personal factors that have contributed to their ascension to leadership of an osteopathic medical school could provide insights that are transferable to other male-dominated professions and institutions. Keywords: osteopathic medicine, women, leadership, gender parity