Closing the Gender Gap in Global Surgery: Trends at the Academic Surgical Congress

Vennila Padmanaban*, Angela DaCosta, Ashley Tran, Anastasia Kunac, Mamta Swaroop, Wei Wei Zhang, Ziad C. Sifri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Female researchers are underrepresented in academic surgery. While they are increasingly producing original research, they lag male researchers in productivity. This disparity is not well understood within the nascent field of global surgery. The following study examines gender parity in global surgery research presented at the Academic Surgical Congress and within subsequent publications. Methods: Abstracts presented at the Academic Surgical Congress (ASC) between 2015 and 2019 in “Global Surgery” sessions were reviewed to obtain title, the first author (FA) and senior author (SA). The authors were classified by gender. The Scopus database was queried by two reviewers for abstracts with corresponding publications, citations, and journal impact factors. Statistical analysis was conducted using chi-square analysis and t-tests where appropriate. Results: Of a total of 6635 abstracts, 218 global surgery abstracts over a 5-year period were identified. Of these abstracts, 96 (44%) had female FAs, while 56 (26%) had female SAs. When comparing gender, female (44%) FAs and male (56%) FAs were equally represented. While SAs were significantly less likely to be female (26% versus 74%, P < 0.0001), female senior authorship increased significantly within the study period. Output with respect to publications, citations, and journal impact factors were equal by gender. Conclusions: This study presents 5 y of gender trends in global surgery scholarly work presented at the ASC. Despite an overall predominance of male senior authors, the paradigm is shifting with a recent trend to gender parity. Male and female authors have equal output and are equally impactful. Findings of gender equity in academic global surgery are encouraging, and further study of other disciplines are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-393
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Bibliometrics
  • Gender equity
  • Global surgery
  • Health disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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