Gender trends in radiation oncology in the United States: A 30-year analysis

Awad A. Ahmed, Brian Egleston, Emma Holliday, Gary Eastwick, Cristiane Takita, Reshma Jagsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purpose Although considerable research exists regarding the role of women in the medical profession in the United States, little work has described the participation of women in academic radiation oncology. We examined women's participation in authorship of radiation oncology literature, a visible and influential activity that merits specific attention. Methods and Materials We examined the gender of first and senior US physician-authors of articles published in the Red Journal in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2004, 2010, and 2012. The significance of trends over time was evaluated using logistic regression. Results were compared with female representation in journals of general medicine and other major medical specialties. Findings were also placed in the context of trends in the representation of women among radiation oncology faculty and residents over the past 3 decades, using Association of American Medical Colleges data. Results The proportion of women among Red Journal first authors increased from 13.4% in 1980 to 29.7% in 2012, and the proportion among senior authors increased from 3.2% to 22.6%. The proportion of women among radiation oncology full-time faculty increased from 11% to 26.7% from 1980 to 2012. The proportion of women among radiation oncology residents increased from 27.1% to 33.3% from 1980 to 2010. Conclusions Female first and senior authorship in the Red Journal has increased significantly, as has women's participation among full-time faculty, but women remain underrepresented among radiation oncology residents compared with their representation in the medical student body. Understanding such trends is necessary to develop appropriately targeted interventions to improve gender equity in radiation oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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