Equity in Canadian surgical specialties: analysis of gender and research productivity in academic ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and urology
Authors: Anne Xuan-Lan Nguyen1, Stuti M. Tanya2, Maxine Joly-Chevrier3, Daiana Roxana Pur4, Rebecca J. Power5, Sanjay Sharma5, Femida Kherani6, Fiona Costello7.
1Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada, 3Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada, 4Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, ON, Canada, 5Department of Ophthalmology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada, 6Department of Surgery, Section of Ophthalmology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada, 7Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Surgery (Ophthalmology), University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Author Disclosure Block: M. Joly-Chevrier: None. S.M. Tanya: None. A. Nguyen: None. D. Pur: None. R.J. Power: None. S. Sharma: None. F. Kherani: None. F. Costello: None.
Title: Equity in Canadian surgical specialties: analysis of gender and research productivity in academic ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and urology
Purpose: To assess the association between gender and research productivity amongst Canadian academic surgical specialists.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Methods: Ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and urology residency programs were identified from the Canadian Resident Matching Service website. Academic rank was identified for all clinician faculty members using the university websites of residency programs. Gender was verified using provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons databases. h index, number of publications, number of citations, and number of years active were collected using Scopus. Demographic data were described using descriptive and basic statistics. The effect of gender based on these criteria was assessed using a two-sample Wilcoxon rank-sum (Mann-Whitney) test.
Results: The analysis included 690 ophthalmologists, 386 otolaryngologists, 301 plastic surgeons, and 260 urologists. Among ophthalmologists, 73% (n=505) were men and 27% (n=185) were women. The median and interquartile range (IQR) for h index in men and women were 6.0 [3-11] and 5.0 [3-9], respectively. There were significantly more publications (p=.009), citations (p=.022), and active years (p<.001) in men than women. There was no significant difference in h-index between men and women (p=.058). Among otolaryngologists, 80% (n=307) were men and 20% (n=79) were women. The median and IQR for h index in men and women were 7.5 [3-16] and 6.0 [2-9], respectively. There were significantly more publications (p=.012), citations (p=.029), active years (p< 0.001), and higher h index (p=.007) in men than women. Among plastic surgeons, 72% (n=216) were men and 28% (n=85) were women. The median and IQR for h-index in men and women were 5.0 [2-11] and 5.0 [3-10], respectively. There was no significant difference between men and women for h-indices (p=.549), number of publications (p=.507), citations (p=.107), unlike for the number of active years (p<.001). Among urologists, 88% (n=230) were men and 12% (n=30) were women. The median and IQR for h index in men and women were 12.0 [5-26] and 8.0 [4-15], respectively. There were significantly more publications (p=.026) and citations (p=.004) among men than women. H-indices (p=.098) and the number of active years (p=.148) were not statistically different between both genders. Among all assessed surgical subspecialties, men occupied 85% of full professorship (254 men, 43 women) and 76% of overall faculty positions (1205 men, 371 women).
Conclusions: Gender disparities in academic representation were observed in all surgical specialties. Plastic surgery demonstrated the least discrepancy in research productivity metrics by gender, followed by urology, ophthalmology, and otolaryngology.