The evolving gender distribution in authorship over time in American surgery


The need for gender parity within academic surgery has resulted in an analysis of
the trends in female authorship in the American general surgery literature.


Original articles from five American surgical journals from 1997, 2007, and 2017 were
reviewed. Trends in the proportion of female authors were evaluated.


There was an incremental increase in female first authors over the three time periods
(15% in 1997, 32.2% in 2007, and 52.7% in 2017; p < 0.001). The proportion of articles
by female senior authors also increased over the study periods (18.7% in 1997, 28.8%
in 2007, and 52.6% in 2017; p < 0.001). However, there were fewer female authors with
basic science research publications than males (17.4% vs. 82.6%, P < 0.001).


The academic productivity of female surgeons have increased over time likely due to
an increase in the number of female academic surgeons in recent years. These findings
are encouraging and demonstrate progress in female representation in surgery.

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