Leadership Titles in Radiology: Usage of Non-Inclusive Terminology among Academic Radiology Departments and Societies

Alan Shan, Cheng Ting Lin, Dania Daye, Paul H. Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale and Objectives: To characterize the use of gender-specific (chairman) and non-inclusive terminology (chief) to describe departmental and divisional/sectional leadership within academic radiology department and radiological society websites. Methods: From a total of 157 unique institutions identified, we gathered a list of 123 departments with functioning websites. We screened for use of “chairman” and “chief” on departmental home pages, welcome messages, faculty listings, and residency program pages, noting location on websites, and alternative terms, if present. We also assessed for use of “chairman” through a list of 14 radiological society websites. The overall usage of these terms was determined and the relationships between geographic region, faculty gender, and use of terminology were assessed. Results: “Chairman” is common among radiology department websites, with 42.1% (51/121) of websites using the term at least once. Usage of “chairman” was higher in departments whose chairs were men (OR 4.32, 95% CI: 1.36-13.69) and lower in those located in the Midwest (versus Northeast, OR 0.34, 95% CI: 0.12-0.96). Use of “chief” is extremely common among departments listing divisional leadership, at 82.7% (67/81). Alternative terms used included “chair,” “head,” “chairperson,” and “director.” Among departments, the proportion of women in leadership roles is low, representing 19.7% (22/122) of chairs and 31.1% (272/874) of other leadership. Radiological societies were unlikely to use “chairman,” with only one website using the term. Conclusion: Use of “chairman” and “chief” is frequent among academic radiology departments. Further efforts should be made to assess the usage of non-inclusive terminology and its potential impact within academic radiology departments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-408
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Academic radiology
  • leadership
  • terminology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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