With gender inequalities decreasing in the Western Hemisphere, the number of women physicians has increased. However, women are not equally represented in leadership roles in academic medicine. One heoryabstract?te referenc es  isubmissionseukocytosiser’petition were selected. ors than female mentors. l then be determined iOOn theory in literature to explain this discrepancy is that women have fewer publications than males.

The aim of this project is to assess whether gender disparities exist among poster presentations by medical students, residents, and attending physicians in a local scholarly poster competition and compare this to authorship in a national poster competition. We hypothesize that women first authors and co-authors will represent less than fifty percent of all authors.


In this retrospective analysis, we analyzed gender differences in authorship at a regional and national poster competition. The submission pool included attending physicians, residents, and medical students.

A compendium of 2013, 2014, and 2015 local poster competition authors were obtained. Gender of first authors and co-authors were determined by inference, and if unknown, by an internet search. Data from a 2015 national medical student and resident poster presentation first authors categorized by gender was studied as well.

The number of female first author and co-authors was compared with the number of male authors to determine whether a gender difference existed. Statistical analysis was conducted using a one-tailed test of proportions.


There was no significant difference in first authorship by gender in medical student and resident first authorship in all years studied in the local competition or in the 2015 national student competition. However, female authors represented significantly fewer first authors in the national resident poster competition (54.5% vs 45.5%, p<0.001). Additionally, in both the 2014 and 2015 local poster competition, significantly fewer co-authors were female (61.1 vs 38.9% [p<0.01] and 57.5 vs 42.5% [p<0.05], respectively).


In a national scholarly competition, female residents authored significantly fewer posters than their male counterparts. Students and residents presented scholarly posters more often with male research mentors as co-authors. Students and residents may be more likely to approach male mentors, male faculty may be more likely approach students and residents to serve as their mentors, or both.

Our findings underscore importance of female faculty reaching out to students and residents to serve as mentors. Similarly, it is important for students and residents to approach female mentors. Perhaps female attending physicians do not have the same opportunities to serve as mentors and co-authors, hindering their progress in academic medicine. Future areas of research can help identify how best to encourage scholarly engagement equally between women and men at every stage in their careers, both regionally and nationally.