Purpose: This study aimed to analyze gender differences in rank, career duration, publication productivity, and research funding among radiation oncologists at U.S. academic institutions.
Method: For 82 domestic academic radiation oncology departments, the authors identified current faculty and recorded their academic rank, degree, and gender. The authors recorded bibliographic metrics for physician faculty from a commercially available database (Scopus, Elsevier BV), including numbers of publications from 1996 to 2012 and h-indices. The authors then concatenated these data with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding per Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. The authors performed descriptive and correlative analyses, stratifying by gender and rank.
Results: Of 1,031 faculty, 293 (28%) women and 738 (72%) men, men had a higher median m-index, 0.58 (range 0–3.23) versus 0.47 (0–2.5) (P < .05); h-index, 8 (0–59) versus 5 (0–39) (P < .05); and publication number, 26 (0–591) versus 13 (0–306) (P < .05). Men were more likely to be senior faculty and receive NIH funding. After stratifying for rank, these differences were largely nonsignificant. On multivariate analysis, there were correlations between gender, career duration and academic position, and h-index (P < .01).
Conclusions: Determinants of a successful career in academic medicine are multifactorial. Data from radiation oncologists show a systematic gender association, with fewer women achieving senior faculty rank. However, women achieving seniority have productivity metrics comparable to those of male counterparts. This suggests that early career development and mentorship of female faculty may narrow productivity disparities.