The Times, They Are A-Changing: Women Entering Academic Orthopedics Today Are Choosing Nonpediatric Fellowships at a Growing Rate

Walter Klyce, Derek T. Nhan, Alexandra M. Dunham, Mostafa H. EL Dafrawy, Claire Shannon, Dawn M. LaPorte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Pediatrics and hand surgery have historically been the orthopaedic subspecialties with the highest female representations. We sought to identify the gender distribution of orthopedic surgical faculty by subspecialty, geography, and educational background. We hypothesized that the proportion of women entering pediatric orthopaedics has decreased since 1980. Design: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education was used to generate a list of U.S. orthopedic residencies. Program websites were used to collect data regarding each faculty member's gender, residencies, fellowships, and graduation year. t tests were used to compare quantitative data and Fisher's exact tests to compare categorical data. Significance was defined as p < 0.05. Setting: Publicly available data from official websites of U.S. orthopedic residencies. Participants: Of 153 residencies, 142 (93%) had accessible faculty lists. Results: Of 3596 orthopedic surgeons, 7.9% were women. Among fellowship-trained faculty, 22% of pediatric orthopedists were women compared with 7.6% of faculty in other orthopedic subspecialties (p < 0.00001). There was a significantly higher percentage of female faculty in the West (13%) than in any other U.S. census region (p < 0.001 vs. Midwest, vs. South, and vs. Northeast). A strong correlation with time was found in number of women completing fellowships other than hand or pediatrics from 1980 to 2014 (R2 = 0.95); a strong inverse correlation with time was found for pediatrics as a percentage of fellowships completed by women during the same period (R2 = 0.94). Conclusions: Although pediatrics remains the most popular fellowship for female orthopedists, women who enter academic orthopedics are increasingly choosing nonpediatric subspecialties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-571
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • faculty
  • fellowship
  • gender
  • orthopedics
  • pediatrics
  • specialties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Surgery


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