Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Introduction: Top Doctor lists in magazines are often published annually, with variable methodologies and criteria for the award. As the number of women practicing urology has slowly grown to be 10.3% of urologists as of 2020, we sought to evaluate whether these lists reflect a contemporary distribution of urologists, to determine if there are regional differences in Top Doctor list gender composition, and to describe similarities and differences among female and male Top Doctors.
Methods: Magazines with a urology, pediatric urology, and/or urogynecology Top Doctor list comprised of physicians with formal urologic training published from January 1, 2020-June 22, 2021 using Castle Connolly (CC) Medical Ltd were included in this study. Information surrounding physician gender, education, affiliation, and award history was obtained from institution profiles and the CC website. A weighted average for patient rating scores was calculated for urologists with at least 20 ratings on Healthgrades and Vitals. Chi square, independent t-tests, ANOVA, and descriptive statistics were generated.
Results: A total of 494 Top Doctor urologists from 25 magazines were analyzed. Of the 494 urologists, 42 (8.50%) were women, with female urologists comprising a range of 0-27.8% per magazine list. Seven magazines (28.0%) did not include female urologists in their lists and eight (32.0%) included one woman on their list. By region, female urologists were represented more often in Western states’ Top Doctor Lists (15.1%) in comparison to the Northeast, South, or Midwest (7.97%, 7.84%, 5.41% respectively). Female urologists more often completed a clinical fellowship compared to their male counterparts (66.7% vs 55.1%). Female Top Doctor urologists were significantly more likely to complete a female pelvic medicine and reproductive surgery (FPMRS) fellowship than their male counterparts (50% vs. 7.8%, p<0.001, chi square). The most common fellowships male urologists completed were urologic oncology (36.3%), pediatric urology (22.3%), and endourology (19.5%). Male urologists were recognized as a Top Doctor with as little as 1 year of clinical practice compared to at least 6 years for females. Weighted average patient ratings were similar among female and male Top Doctor urologists (4.02 vs 4.12/5.00).
Conclusions: Fewer female urologists were recognized as a Top Doctor than anticipated based on the percentage of practicing female urologists, especially in the Northeast, South, and Midwest. Top female urologists were more likely to complete a clinical fellowship, with FPMRS being the most common.
Source of Funding: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.