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Gender Distribution of the American Board of Anesthesiology Diplomates, Examiners, and Directors (1985–2015)

Fahy, Brenda G., MD, MCCM*; Culley, Deborah J., MD; Sun, Huaping, PhD; Dainer, Rupa, MD§; Lutkoski, Benjamin P., MSIS; Lien, Cynthia A., MD

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000003399
General Articles: Special Article
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To understand the potential role of women in leadership positions, data from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) were analyzed to explore the impact of women in the specialty of anesthesiology. The number of newly certified ABA diplomates, oral examiners, and directors from 1985 to 2015 was obtained from the ABA database. The percentages of women in each group were calculated for each year. Because it took an average of 10 years for a diplomate to become an oral examiner and an average of 7 years for an oral examiner to be elected as a director during the study period, the following percentages were compared: women oral examiners versus newly certified women diplomates 10 years prior and women directors versus women oral examiners 7 years prior. The correlation coefficients between the percentages of women oral examiners and of newly certified women diplomates 10 years prior and between the percentages of women directors and women oral examiners 7 years prior were calculated. From 1985 to 2015, the percentage of newly certified women diplomates increased from 15% to 38% with an average annual increase of 0.74%, percentage of women oral examiners increased from 8% to 26% with an average annual increase of 0.63%, and percentage of women directors increased from 8% to 25% with an average annual increase of 0.56%. The percentage of women examiners consistently lagged behind the percentage of women diplomates who were certified 10 years earlier; the average difference over 21 years from 1995 to 2015 was −3.7% with a standard deviation of 2.1%. The correlation coefficient between the percentages of women examiners and newly certified women diplomates 10 years earlier from 1995 to 2015 was 0.86 (P < .001). However, the percentage of women directors was generally higher than that of women examiners 7 years earlier; the average difference over 24 years from 1992 to 2015 was 3.5% with a standard deviation of 4.0%. The correlation coefficient between the percentages of women directors and women examiners 7 years prior from 1992 to 2015 was 0.86 (P < .001). The percentage of newly certified women diplomates, examiners, and directors increased steadily from 1985 to 2015. The percentage of women examiners lagged behind that of women diplomates 10 years prior from 1995 to 2015; however, the percentage of women directors was, on average, higher than that of the women examiners 7 years prior from 1992 to 2015.

From the *Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida

Department of Anesthesiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

The American Board of Anesthesiology, Raleigh, North Carolina

§Ambulatory Surgical Center, Pediatric Specialists of Virginia, Fairfax, Virginia

Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Published ahead of print April 19, 2018.

Accepted for publication March 15, 2018.

Funding: None.

Conflicts of Interest: See Disclosures at the end of the article.

Reprints will not be available from the authors.

Address correspondence to Brenda G. Fahy, MD, MCCM, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, 1600 SW Archer Rd, PO Box 100254, Gainesville, FL 32610. Address e-mail to bfahy@anest.ufl.edu.

© 2018 International Anesthesia Research Society
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