Gender characteristics among academic ophthalmology leadership, faculty, and residents: Results from a cross-sectional survey

Deepika N. Shah, Nicholas J. Volpe, Stephanie B. Abbuhl, Ricardo Pietrobon, Anand Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine if there is any association in ophthalmology between the gender of the chairperson and residency program director and the gender of faculty and residents. Methods: An anonymous electronic survey was sent to 121 ophthalmology residency program directors. Demographic information pertaining to size, location, academic or community affiliation, and gender distribution of the faculty, residents, residency program directors and chairs was obtained. Results: The response rate was 45.45% with 55 residency program directors responding to the survey. Academic programs comprised 53 (96%) of the programs studied. Male department chairs led all 53 (96%) programs. In terms of the residency program director gender, 37 (67%) were male, whereas 18 (34%) were female. Female faculty and residents comprised 313 (28%) and 270 (45%), respectively. Compared to departments with male chairs, departments with a female chair had a higher crude proportion of female faculty (35% vs. 28%; P=0.300) and female residents (50% vs. 45%; P=0.660), although there was no statistical difference. Departments with either a male or female residency program director had similar number of female faculty (28% vs. 28%; P=0.991) and residents (44% vs. 46%; P=0.689). Conclusions: We found no significant association between the gender of the residency program director and chairperson with the proportion of female faculty and residents. Given a higher ratio of female residents relative to female faculty, it is probable that graduating female residents are choosing not to pursue academic medicine, shrinking the potential pool of female candidates for positions of departmental leadership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010



  • Academic ophthalmology
  • Chair person
  • Gender
  • Residency program director

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology

Cite this