The Cost of Being a Woman in Academic Cardiothoracic Surgery: Joint Collaboration of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Workforces on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Cardiothoracic Surgery Practice Models

Cherie P. Erkmen, Kristine Chin, Shilpa Agarwal, Sakib Adnan, David T. Cooke, Walter Merrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Gender disparity in the cardiothoracic surgery workforce is challenging to enumerate and quantify. The purpose of our work is to use the most current data to quantify the percentage of women in academic cardiothoracic surgery and salary disparity between women and men. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of data collected by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Data Resource Book 2021 and Association of American Medical Colleges Faculty Data for U.S. Medical School Faculty 2019, 2020, and 2021. We used descriptive analysis of the number of faculty and mean salaries of academic cardiothoracic surgeons according to academic rank and gender. Salary disparity in cardiothoracic surgery was compared with salary disparities seen among surgical specialties and academic clinicians. Results: Over the past 3 years, women comprised 11.5% of the cardiothoracic workforce. In 2021, cardiothoracic surgeons who were women earned $0.71 to $0.86 for every $1.00 earned by cardiothoracic surgeons who were men. Ascending academic rank correlated with greater gender salary disparity; women professors earned less than men of equal and lower academic rank. From 2019 to 2021, women of the academic ranks of associate professor, professor, and chief of cardiothoracic surgery experienced a decrease in mean salaries, whereas men of equivalent academic ranks experienced an increase in mean salaries. Conclusions: Gender disparity in cardiothoracic surgery persists, with low representation of women and salary disparity at every academic rank.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Volume117
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Specialties, Surgical
  • Surgeons
  • United States
  • Workforce

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