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Gender Differences in Publication Productivity, Academic Position, Career Duration, and Funding Among U.S. Academic Radiation Oncology Faculty

Holliday, Emma B. MD; Jagsi, Reshma MD, DPhil; Wilson, Lynn D. MD, MPH; Choi, Mehee MD; Thomas, Charles R. Jr. MD; Fuller, Clifton D. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000229
Research Reports

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.

Dr. Holliday is a second-year radiation oncology resident, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Dr. Jagsi is associate professor of radiation oncology and associate chair for faculty affairs, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dr. Wilson is professor of therapeutic radiology and of dermatology; and vice chairman, clinical director, therapeutic radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Choi is a fifth-year radiation oncology resident, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Thomas is professor and chair of radiation medicine, Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute, Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Fuller is assistant professor of radiation oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, and has a joint faculty appointment, Department of Radiation Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute, Portland, Oregon.

Please see the end of this article for information about the authors.

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Ethical approval for this project not required by the institutional review board due to the publicly available nature of the data analyzed.

Previous presentations: An earlier version of this paper was presented in part at the October 2012 annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, Boston, Massachusetts.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Fuller, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Unit 97, Houston TX 77030; e-mail:

© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges