The following is a summary of “Is there a gender gap in clinical neurosciences? A cross-sectional analysis of female participation in academic neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry,” published in the November 2023 issue of Psychiatry by Hakvoort et al.
Gender equality within clinical neuroscience remains a persistent subject of interest. This study aimed to comprehensively assess female physicians’ engagement and leadership roles across various disciplines, such as neurosurgery, neurology, and psychiatry. The researchers conducted a review of 1,910 articles published in six prominent journals. Among these articles, 1,327 were original research papers, 145 were invited publications, and 303 were letters or comments. A total of 15,080 authors contributed to these publications, with women accounting for 29% (4,365 authors). Notably, the representation of female authors varied significantly among the different specialties: 19% in neurosurgery, 39% in neurology, and 45% in psychiatry.
Additionally, women served as last authors in 9.5% of neurosurgery papers, 29% of neurology papers, and 39% of psychiatry papers. These findings highlight evident gender disparities within academic neuroscience. Their review aims to delve into the underlying causes of this phenomenon, considering recent publications alongside examining cultural and historical factors contributing to these disparities.
Gender disparities in academic neuroscience, notably observed in the representation and leadership of female doctors across neurosurgery, neurology, and psychiatry, indicate substantial imbalances. This review aims to probe deeper into the mechanisms underlying these discrepancies. By analyzing recent publications and considering sociocultural contexts, they aim to shed light on the multifaceted factors contributing to these gender disparities, fostering a more comprehensive understanding of this pervasive issue within clinical neuroscience.