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Gender Disparity in Academic Trauma Surgery: The Current State of Affairs.

American Surgeon 2024 May 32
INTRODUCTION: Despite the increasing number of female surgeons in general surgery programs, women are still inadequately represented in leadership positions. This study aims to investigate the magnitude of gender bias in university-based trauma surgery fellowship programs and leadership positions in the United States of America.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: FRIEDA was used to identify trauma surgery programs. A thorough website review of each program obtained further information on faculty members, including their name, age, gender, and faculty rank. Trauma surgeons with an MD or DO qualification and a faculty rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor were selected for inclusion in this study. SCOPUS was used to assess the H-index and the number of publications and citations of surgeons.

RESULTS: The total number of programs included was 136, consisting of 715 faculty members. Less than a quarter (n = 166; 23.2%) comprised females and less than one-fifth (n = 30; 19%) of female surgeons were Professors. The difference in the research productivity of male and female trauma surgeons was statistically significant ( P < .05), with the average H-index being 10 vs 7.5, respectively, amongst the top 50 surgeons of both genders. Based on a multiple regression analysis, academic rank was significantly associated ( P < .05), and gender was not significantly associated ( P > .05) with H-index.

CONCLUSION: Gender disparity exists in the field of trauma surgery, as noted in senior faculty ranks and leadership positions. Female-inclusive state policies, appropriate mentorship, and supportive institutions can help to bridge this gap.

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