Collective contributions of women to cardiothoracic surgery: A perspective review

Shauna R. Roberts, Amy F. Kells, Delos M. Cosgrove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background. Of 5,812 personsboarded by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS), 99 (< 2%) are women. This study was designed to collect and report the contributions made by these women in the specialty of cardiothoracic surgery. Methods. Identification of ABTS board-certified women was Obtained from the ABTS. Compilation of data was accomplished through membership databases, medical licensing boards, thoracic surgery residency programs, and residency program attending surgeons. Data were substantiated through hospital medical staff offices, local practitioners, and personal telephone calls. Curricula vitae were requested; practice types (adult, pediatric, cardiac, general thoracic, or transplantation) were established. Data were collated, extrapolated, and tallied. Trends over time were analyzed by logistic regression analyses. Results. Currently, 84 women are actively practicing: 44 have academic appointments and 40 are in private practice. Of the remaining 15 women, 4 are deceased; 4 are retired; 5 are in other professional fields; and 2 are in an unknown practice setting. Accumulated data confirmed that women surgeons are practicing in every type and subgroup of cardiothoracic surgery (adult, pediatric, cardiac, general thoracic, transplantation, and combinations of these). Collectively, they have published 2,292 articles and book chapters. Manuscripts directly related to cardiac topics number 1,220. Women in cardiothoracic surgical research have been awarded $31.9 million in grant funds. Two trends over time were identified. First, the distribution of practice setting (academic or private) was stable compared with year of board certification. Secondly, a statistically significant rise in the annual percentage of board-certified persons who are women (p < 0.0001) has been established. Conclusions. The percent of ABTS board-certified women surgeons has increased; more than 50% have academic appointments; and a stable trend for women to choose academic cardiothoracic surgery exists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S19-S21
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2001


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