Women in Urology Residency, 1978-2013: A Critical Look at Gender Representation in Our Specialty

Joshua Alexander Halpern*, Una J. Lee, Erika M. Wolff, Sameer Mittal, Jonathan E. Shoag, Deborah J. Lightner, Soo Kim, Jim C. Hu, Bilal Chughtai, Richard K. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objective To evaluate changes over time in female representation among urology residents compared to those within other specialties. Materials and Methods Urology match data were obtained from the American Urological Association from 1996 to 2015. Trends in match rates of male and female urology applicants were assessed. Data for gender representation among residencies were extracted from reports in the Journal of the American Medical Association from 1978 to 2013. We compared the annual percentage of women among urology residents vs residents of other specialties over time. Results Mean number of male vs female urology applicants per year was 285.0 ± 27.1 vs 76.5 ± 21.8 (P <.001). There was no statistically significant difference in the mean successful match rate of male vs female applicants (68.2% vs 66.6%, P =.36). From 1978 to 2013, the proportion of female residents across all specialties rose from 15.4% to 46.1%, whereas female residents in urology rose from 0.9% to 23.8%. Between 2009 and 2013, obstetrics and gynecology and orthopedics had the highest and lowest average proportion of women, respectively (80.7% and 13.5%). The largest growth occurred in urology among all other specialties (P <.001), with an 11-fold increase seen during the study period. Conclusion Male and female applicants to urology residency have similar match rates. Although urology demonstrated the greatest fold-increase in proportion of women among all specialties during the study period, women have remained a minority among urology residents. Gender representation within urology is a reflection of many factors and demonstrates a need for further improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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