A descriptive analysis of general surgery residency program directors in the United States


      • Most general surgery program directors (PDs) were male who completed a fellowship.
      • Female program directors were appointed at a younger age and have served shorter terms than males.
      • Research output, academic rank, and fellowship training were similar regardless of program director gender.
      • Residencies with a female program director had a greater percentage of female residents.



      Women remain underrepresented in surgery. We analyzed the demographics of general surgery program directors (PDs) and compared gender differences.


      A search of online resources was conducted, including 344 general surgery residencies.


      340 residencies were included. 261 PDs (76.8%) were male and 79 (23.2%) were female. Females were appointed at a younger age (p < 0.0001), were appointed sooner after residency (p < 0.0001) and have served similar term lengths compared to males (p = 0.556). There was no difference in academic position, fellowship training, or scholarly output between genders. Residencies with a female PD had a greater percentage of female residents (p = 0.04).


      General surgery PDs are predominately male with fellowship training; however the percentage of female PDs is similar to the percentage of practicing female general surgeons in the US. Gaining a better understanding of the characteristics of general surgery PDs can aid female surgeons in attaining academic leadership positions.


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