Gender disparities in academic rank achievement in neurosurgery: a critical assessment

Restricted access

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to evaluate whether there are disparities in academic rank and promotion between men and women neurosurgeons.

METHODS

The profiles of faculty members from 50 academic neurosurgery programs were reviewed to identify years in practice, number of PubMed-indexed publications, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) attainment, and academic rank. The number of publications at each academic rank was compared between men and women after controlling for years in practice by using a negative binomial regression model. The relationship between gender and each academic rank was also determined after controlling for clustering at the institutional level, years in practice, and number of publications.

RESULTS

Of 841 faculty members identified, 761 (90%) were men (p = 0.0001). Women represented 12% of the assistant and associate professors but only 4% of the full professors. Men and women did not differ in terms of the percentage holding a PhD, years in practice, or number of publications at any academic rank. After controlling for years in practice and clustering at the facility level, the authors found that men were twice as likely as women to be named full professor (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.09–4.44, p = 0.03). However, when institution, years in practice, PhD attainment, h-index, and number of publications were considered, men and women were equally likely to attain full professorship (OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.42–1.93).

CONCLUSIONS

Data analysis of the top neurosurgery programs suggests that although there are fewer women than men holding positions in academic neurosurgery, faculty rank attainment does not seem to be influenced by gender.

ABBREVIATIONS AANS = American Association of Neurological Surgeons; PhD = Doctor of Philosophy.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Correspondence Christina Notarianni: LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA. cnotar@lsuhsc.edu.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online November 8, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2019.8.JNS191219.Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.
Headings
References
  • 1

    Abelson JSChartrand GMoo TAMoore MYeo H: The climb to break the glass ceiling in surgery: trends in women progressing from medical school to surgical training and academic leadership from 1994 to 2015. Am J Surg 212:566572 572.e12016

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2

    American Association of Neurological Surgeons American Board of Neurological Surgery Congress of Neurological Surgeons Society of Neurological Surgeons: Ensuring an adequate neurosurgical workforce for the 21st century in 2012. CNS.org (https://www.cns.org/sites/default/files/legislative/NeurosurgeryIOMGMEPaper121912.pdf) [Accessed September 10 2019]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3

    Association of American Medical Colleges: Table B3. Number of active residents, by type of medical school, GME specialty, and sex: 2017-18 active residents. AAMC.org (https://www.aamc.org/data/493922/report-on-residents-2018-b3table.html) [Accessed September 10 2019]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4

    Bickel JWara DAtkinson BFCohen LSDunn MHostler S: Increasing women’s leadership in academic medicine: report of the AAMC Project Implementation Committee. Acad Med 77:104310612002

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    Benzil DLAbosch AGermano IGilmer HMaraire JNMuraszko K: The future of neurosurgery: a white paper on the recruitment and retention of women in neurosurgery. J Neurosurg 109:3783862008

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

    Etzkowitz HKemelgor CNeuschatz MUzzi BAlonzo J: The paradox of critical mass for women in science. Science 266:51541994

  • 7

    Forese L: Making the case for parental leave during residency. AAMC News. October 9 2018 (https://news.aamc.org/medical-education/article/making-case-parental-leave-during-residency/) [Accessed September 10 2019]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8

    Khan NRThompson CJTaylor DRVenable GTWham RMMichael LM II: An analysis of publication productivity for 1225 academic neurosurgeons and 99 departments in the United States. J Neurosurg 120:7467552014

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9

    Levinson WKaufman KClark BTolle SW: Mentors and role models for women in academic medicine. West J Med 154:4234261991

  • 10

    McDermott MGelb DJWilson KPawloski MBurke JFShelgikar AV: Sex differences in academic rank and publication rate at top-ranked US neurology programs. JAMA Neurol 75:9569612018

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11

    Phillips EANimeh TBraga JLerner LB: Does a surgical career affect a woman’s childbearing and fertility? A report on pregnancy and fertility trends among female surgeons. J Am Coll Surg 219:9449502014

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12

    Rangel ELSmink DSCastillo-Angeles MKwakye GChangala MHaider AH: Pregnancy and motherhood during surgical training. JAMA Surg 153:6446522018

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

    Renfrow JJRodriguez ALiu APilitsis JGSamadani UGanju A: Positive trends in neurosurgery enrollment and attrition: analysis of the 2000–2009 female neurosurgery resident cohort. J Neurosurg 124:8348392016

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14

    Renfrow JJRodriguez AWilson TAGermano IMAbosch AWolfe SQ: Tracking career paths of women in neurosurgery. Neurosurgery 82:5765822018

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15

    Renfrow JJWolfe SQ: In reply: tracking career paths of women in neurosurgery. Neurosurgery 84:E942019

  • 16

    Spiotta AMKalhorn SPatel S: Millenials in neurosurgery: is there hope? Neurosurgery 83:E71E732018

  • 17

    Tomei KLNahass MMHusain QAgarwal NPatel SKSvider PF: A gender-based comparison of academic rank and scholarly productivity in academic neurological surgery. J Clin Neurosci 21:110211052014

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
TrendMD
Metrics

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 704 704 470
Full Text Views 90 90 55
PDF Downloads 36 36 19
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0
PubMed
Google Scholar