Equity in surgical leadership for women: More work to do

Anna Weiss, Katherine C. Lee, Viridiana Tapia, David Chang, Julie Freischlag, Sarah L. Blair, Sonia Ramamoorthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background Sex disparity in the Program Director role has not been studied. The goal of this study is to evaluate the percentage of women in Chair and Program Director positions. We hypothesize that there is a higher percentage of women in the Program Director role than Chair role. Methods An Internet search identified Chairs, Program Directors, Associate Program Directors, and Division Chiefs. Statistical analysis compared percentages of women in these roles at all institutions, academic/community programs, and regions. Results There is higher female representation in the Program Director position than Chair position (P =.002) in General Surgery, Otolaryngology, and Orthopedics. More women are Associate Program Directors than Division Chiefs (23.6% vs 9.8%, P ≤.001). Academic and community programs are no different. In the West, a greater percentage of women are Chairs as compared with the other regions (P ≤.002). Conclusions There are higher rates of women in Program Director position than Department Chair position. This discrepancy warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-498
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Program Director
  • Sex disparity
  • Surgical leadership
  • Women in surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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