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A Preview of 'Gender Analysis of the Top Classic Papers in Otolaryngology'

Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.

What is the central question that your study and/or presentation tries to answer?

Our study aimed to identify the characteristics of the top 50 most cited articles in otolaryngology over the past 75 years. What are the gender breakdown and authorship characteristics of first authorship roles in the most cited papers in the field of otolaryngology? 

What are the highlights that attendees should take away from your presentation?

  • The majority of papers were from the United States, written in the 1990s, and on the fields of otology and rhinology.
  • Sixteen percent of papers in the top 50 were written by women, closely mirroring the percentage of women in otolaryngology. 
  • The first authors who were women had significantly more total number of citations and average citations/year compared to their counterparts.
  • Future efforts to identify targets for continuing and improving inclusivity and productivity initiatives should be pursued.

How do these findings and/or conclusions potentially impact clinical practice?

Although the numbers of men and women in medical school are now nearly equivalent, there continues to be disproportionate underrepresentation of women in academic surgical departments. Factors such as rigid program culture, work-family conflict, and lack of mentorship have been cited to impact career progression. However, it is encouraging that the percentage of women first-authoring high-impact articles (16%) closely mirrors the percentage of women otolaryngologists (18%). Efforts to provide equitable resources and support should be a focus for surgical departments. Recent initiatives emphasizing mentorship, diversity, and inclusion have successfully increased the percentage of women clinical faculty while reducing salary disparities. 

What are 3–5 questions you would ask attendees about the topic of your presentation to spark an engaging conversation?

  • What are specific, realistic, and concrete strategies to improve inclusivity and diversity at academic institutions?
  • What are some papers that you consider as “landmark” findings in your field? 
  • Among women, medical students, gender discrimination and perceived incompatible lifestyle barriers have been cited as barriers to pursuing a surgical career. How can we engage women, medical students, early on and support career decision-making?

Drs. Rajasekaran and Go are employed by University of Penn Medicine Group. They have no conflicts of interest to report.

Illustration by April Brust

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