Disproportionate participation of males and females in academic pediatric orthopaedics: An analysis of abstract authorship at POSNA 2009-2013

Melinda S. Sharkey, Richard S. Feinn, Victoria V. Tate, Cordelia W. Carter, Todd T. Cassese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Despite increasing numbers of female orthopaedic surgeons, we hypothesized that women were not actively participating at national and international meetings in numbers proportional to their membership. Methods: A retrospective review of the 2009-2013 POSNA Annual Meeting Final Programs was performed. The following information was recorded for all members: name, sex, membership level, years of membership, and if the individual was an author on at least 1 abstract. To compare proportion of abstract authorship between sexes across years, while controlling for years of membership, general estimating equations with a binomial model and logit link were used. The study population was limited to candidate and active POSNA members only, as this group represents the most active practicing pediatric orthopaedic surgeons. Results: Over the 5-year period studied, females comprised 16.6% (204/1227) of the total POSNA membership and 20.9% (184/880) of members at candidate and active status. The percentage of females with candidate or active member status in POSNA who had at least 1 abstract presentation during the 5 years was 37% and this was significantly lower (P=0.003) than the percentage of men (49%) who presented at least 1 abstract. Analysis across the 5 years showed a consistent difference between the sexes with no trend of convergence in abstract rates (P=0.65). Controlling for years membership, female members still presented abstracts at lower rates than their male colleagues (P=0.002). Conclusions: Female members of POSNA, in the most active part of their careers, participated at significantly lower rates than their male peers as accepted abstract authors for the 2009-2013 POSNA meetings than would be expected for their proportional size of total membership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-436
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic promotion
  • Gender
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Pediatric orthopaedic surgery
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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