June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Gender Differences in Publication Productivity, Academic Promotion, and NIH Funding Among Vitreoretinal Faculty Members in the United States
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mona Lotfipour Camacci
    Ophthalmology, Penn State Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Belinda Ikpoh
    Ophthalmology, Penn State Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Erik Lehman
    Public Health Sciences, Penn State Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Ingrid U Scott
    Ophthalmology, Penn State Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
    Public Health Sciences, Penn State Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Esther M Bowie
    Ophthalmology, Penn State Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Seth Pantanelli
    Ophthalmology, Penn State Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Mona Camacci, None; Belinda Ikpoh, None; Erik Lehman, None; Ingrid Scott, None; Esther Bowie, None; Seth Pantanelli, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 5109. doi:
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      Mona Lotfipour Camacci, Belinda Ikpoh, Erik Lehman, Ingrid U Scott, Esther M Bowie, Seth Pantanelli; Gender Differences in Publication Productivity, Academic Promotion, and NIH Funding Among Vitreoretinal Faculty Members in the United States. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):5109.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : The proportion of ophthalmologists in the United States (US) who are women has increased over the past four decades, yet significant gender disparity continues to exist in leadership positions. The vitreoretinal subspecialty is known to have an especially high male:female ratio of practitioners. This study compares the publication productivity, academic rank, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding of male versus female vitreoretinal faculty at academic medical centers in the US.

Methods : Cross-sectional study of full-time academic vitreoretinal faculty listed on the institutional websites of all 113 ACGME accredited ophthalmology programs between January-March 2019. Data on gender was gathered from pictures, faculty profiles, and gender-indicating pronouns. Data on residency year graduation was gathered using official websites and online search tools. Faculty members’ h-indices and m-quotients were obtained using the Scopus database. Each retina specialist was then queried in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool to determine principle investigator status, number of NIH projects, and total NIH funding. A Chi-square test was used to compare categorical values and a Wilcoxon Rank Sum test was used for continuous variables.

Results : Of the 666 faculty, 163 (24.5%) were women and 503 (75.5%) were men (24.5%); 3/163 (1.8%) women vs 29/503 (5.8%) men (p = 0.083) held department chair positions, 34 (20.9%) vs 173 (34.4%) (p = 0.002) were full professors, 35 (21.5%) vs 87 (17.3%) (p = 0.462) were associate professors, and 94 (57.7%) vs 243 (48.3%) (p=0.076) were assistant professors. Compared to men, women had a significantly lower median h-index (8.0 vs 12.0; p<0.001) and shorter mean career duration (17.7 vs 24.0 years, p<0.001), but no significant difference in median m-quotient (0.6 vs 0.6, p = 1.0). Among the 154 faculty who received NIH funding, 31 (20.1%) were women and 123 (79.9%) were men. Within this cohort, the mean grant amount was lower for women ($3.9M vs 5.2M; p = 0.697), but no differences were seen among the median number of NIH projects between genders (2.0 vs 2.0; p = 1.0).

Conclusions : Results of this study highlight the gender disparity among vitreoretinal faculty at US academic institutions. Career duration contributes significantly to the observed differences in h-index between male and female vitreoretinal faculty.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

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