1363. Academic Promotion Among Female Neurosurgeons: Qualified but Underrepresented

Authors: Rimal Hanif Dossani, MD; Rimal Dossani, MD; Jennifer Kosty, MD; Danielle Terrell, MD; Christina Notarianni, MD (Shreveport, LA)


This study aims to determine whether there is a gender-related bias in the promotion of men vs. women to higher academic ranks (associate/full professor).


A list of the top 50 U.S. neurosurgical programs was obtained from the US News and World Report ranking of Best Graduate Schools. An internet-based search of departmental websites was performed to identify the following: sex, academic rank, H-index, and year of medical school graduation. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine characteristics associated with achieving rank of associate/full professor.


Of the 875 academic neurosurgeons sampled, 81 (9%) were women. The proportion of women decreased with increasing academic rank: instructor or clinical instructor (20%), assistant professor (12%), associate professor (12%), and full professor or chairman (4%) (p<0.001). Factors associated with associate/full professor status included years in practice [OR 1.14 (95% CI 1.11-1.16)], H-index [OR 1.05 (95% CI 1.03-1.08)], and number of publications [OR 1.01 (95% CI 1.03-1.08)]. There was no significant difference between the H-index of men and women at the rank of associate or full professor. Sex was not significantly predictive of associate/full professor status (p=0.37).


While this study did not find gender to be a significant factor in academic promotion, it found that women are equally qualified for promotion as their male counterparts, yet notably underrepresented in higher academic ranks. The number of women matriculating in neurosurgical residency is increasing (16.3% in 2016 as compared to 12.7% from 2000-09), and therefore the future for women holding higher academic and leadership positions is promising.