Introduction: According to the American Urological Association (AUA) 2019 census, the percentage of women practicing urologists is 9.9% of the workforce in the USA, making urology one of the least gender-diverse specialties recognized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
The purpose of this study is to identify the proportion of urologic studies published in 5 major urologic journals by women in 2019 in the USA. We also aim to determine if any significant difference exists in the types of urologic studies authored by women as compared to those by men.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was designed to analyze trends in women authorship of urology publications in 2019 compared to AUA 2019 census data. All studies published by authors from USA institutions between January and April of 2019 in Journal of Urology, BJU International, Journal of Endourology, European Urology, and Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases were evaluated. The gender of first and senior authors were collected. Studies were categorized as basic science, clinical medicine, economics/practice management, review/meta-analysis, editorial, and case report/technique. Chi-squared test was used for statistical analyses and p values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results: 184 publications were included in this study. The proportion of women first authors was significantly higher than would be expected based on population proportions, X2 (1, N = 178) = 9.65, p = 0.002. There was no significant difference in proportion of women senior authors compared to expected, X2 (1, N = 165) = 2.18, p = 0.14. The proportion of women with basic science publications was significantly higher than expected, X2 (1, N = 18) = 6.45, p = 0.011. There were no differences in proportion of women compared to men in all other types of studies, including case report/technique, X2 (1, N = 14) = 1.54, p = 0.215, clinical medicine, X2 (1, N = 178) = 3.43, p = 0.064, economics/practice management, X2 (1, N = 40) = 1.17, p = 0.28, editorial, X2 (1, N = 70) = 0, p = 0.978, and review/meta-analysis, X2 (1, N = 42) = 2.16, p = 0.142.
Conclusions: A recent study showed that amongst physicians, women were less likely than men to be promoted in academic medicine. This gender gap exists despite the high productivity of women as first authors in this study. This may reflect the growing number of women in urology training programs. As one of the least gender-diverse specialties, it is imperative that urologic institutions not only encourage productivity amongst women trainees and urologists but ultimately take actions to promote the advancement of women urologists within the ranks of academic leadership.