June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Association Between Gender, Scholarly Impact, and National Institutes of Health Funding of United States Academic Ophthalmologists
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Adeline Answine
    Department of Ophthalmology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Mona Lotfipour Camacci
    Department of Ophthalmology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Belinda Ikpoh
    Department of Ophthalmology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Erik Lehman
    Department of Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Ingrid U Scott
    Department of Ophthalmology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Seth Pantanelli
    Department of Ophthalmology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Adeline Answine, None; Mona Camacci, None; Belinda Ikpoh, None; Erik Lehman, None; Ingrid Scott, None; Seth Pantanelli, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 5124. doi:
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      Adeline Answine, Mona Lotfipour Camacci, Belinda Ikpoh, Erik Lehman, Ingrid U Scott, Seth Pantanelli; Association Between Gender, Scholarly Impact, and National Institutes of Health Funding of United States Academic Ophthalmologists. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):5124.

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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. It is unclear whether this disparity is related to differences in academic productivity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between gender, scholarly impact, and National Institute of Health (NIH) funding of US ophthalmology academic faculty.

Methods : This cross-sectional study included data from 113 ACGME-accredited ophthalmology departments, collected from institutional websites between January and March 2019. All full-time academic faculty were included. Gender was determined based on faculty profiles, pictures, and gender-indicating pronouns. Scholarly impact was determined using the h-index and m-quotient from the Scopus database. NIH funding was determined by using the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools to identify principal investigators. Statistical analysis was completed using chi-square testing and Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests.

Results : Of the 3,005 academic ophthalmologists analyzed, 1003 (33.4%) were women and 2002 (66.6%) were men. Women had a lower median h-index when compared to their male colleagues (4.0 vs 7.0, p < .001), but had similar median m-quotients (0.50 vs 0.50, p = .063). Of the 470 (15.6%) who had received NIH funding, 120 (25.5%) were women and 350 (74.5%) were men. Within this group of NIH funded ophthalmologists, women had similar mean funding totals compared to men ($3.3M vs $4.6M; p = 0.286), but a lesser number of funded projects (women: 2.2 vs. men: 2.8; p = 0.014). Women who had received NIH funding had lower median h-indices than men (18.0 vs. 29.0; p <0.001) but similar median m-quotients (women: 1.10 vs. men 1.15; p = 1.0). The mean career duration of NIH funded women was roughly half the career duration of men (20.5 vs. 39.1 years; p <0.001).

Conclusions :
Female ophthalmologists have less NIH funding than their male counterparts; however, scholarly impact, when weighted for career duration, is similar between them. The gender disparity in NIH funding may be due to shorter career duration of women.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

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