A prior study revealed discrepancies in self-reported surgical numbers between male and female ophthalmology residents. This study further investigates the gender differences in self-reported procedural volume among vitreoretinal surgery fellows and examines the differences for surgical, medical, and total self-reported procedural volume between male and female vitreoretinal fellows.
A retrospective review of case logs submitted to the American Society of Retina Specialists by first-year and second-year vitreoretinal fellows from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, was performed. Fellows who reported fewer than 100 pars plana vitrectomies were excluded. A total of 133 fellows were included.
Overall, 37 of 57 (65%) first-year fellows and 59 of 76 (78%) second-year fellows were male. An average of 1,120 procedures were self-reported among all vitreoretinal fellows. In the group of second-year fellows at the completion of fellowship, men reported more total procedures (1,171 [864–1,600] vs. 1,005 [719–1,257]; P = 0.072). Women reported statistically significant fewer endolaser (P = 0.018), internal limiting membrane peel (P = 0.042), and cryoretinopexy (P = 0.002) procedures compared with men. When splitting the data by total surgical versus medical procedures, men reported more procedures than women both surgically (1,077 [799–1,490] vs. 925 [622–1,208]; P = 0.085) and medically (72 [41–116] vs. 56 [20–94]; P = 0.141), although these differences were not statistically significant.
There is a trend for female vitreoretinal fellows to report fewer surgical procedures than their male counterparts, raising concerns for gender gaps in vitreoretinal surgical training. Further research is needed to verify this discrepancy and identify potential barriers that female vitreoretinal surgeons are facing in training.