Walking Out on the Boys

Frances K. Conley, M.D.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

264 Pages



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In this intimate and shocking book, Dr. Conley provides a thorough, thoroughly appalling account of a male-dominated medical faculty at Stanford University. Walking Out on the Boys documents her struggle for equal opportunity and equal treatment within this prestigious institution.


Praise for Walking Out on the Boys

"A unique and important book of crucial interest to physicians, medical administrators, and the public. Dr. Conley's compelling personal account typifies the struggle of thousands of academic women physicians who strive for equal opportunity and equal impact within the medical profession."—Sharyn Ann Lenhart, M.D., president, American Medical Women's Association

"A personal and shocking account of the almost all-male world of medicine at Stanford University. Dr. Conley's story is a triumph of one woman's determination to be treated simply as a respected neurosurgeon who, when push came to shove, stood up to the dean and his cronies and changed 'the system.'"—John H. Bunzel, senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

"A horrifying look at macho medicine in action—and Conley fears that real change remains elusive. Don't see a new doctor without reading her story first."—Laura Shapiro, Newsweek

"Everyone involved—from nurses and premeds to medical students, residents, and faculty—ought to read this book."—Margaret W. Rossiter, Journal of the American Medical Association

"A personal story so gripping that it reads like a novel. Conley, the first tenured female neurosurgeon in the United States, is known not for her breakthrough research on brain tumors or for the lives she has saved on the operating table, but for the sensational headlines she made in 1991 after abruptly resigning her tenured position on the Stanford faculty. How Conley negotiates her way through increasingly treacherous terrain (her office is broken into, her name expunged from Stanford stationery, her research labs given away) to regain her position at Stanford makes for absorbing, often heart-pounding reading."—Patricia Holt, San Francisco Chronicle

"Everyone should read this dramatic exposé and take heed—especially those in large institutions and in the medical professions, and all of us who depend on those professions for our own lives."—Deborah Tannen, Author of You Just Don't Understand and The Argument Culture

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Frances K. Conley, M.D.

  • Frances K. Conley is a professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and chief of staff at the Palo Alto Veterans Health Care System. She lives in Woodside, California.