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While the proportion of women in medicine has increased over the past two decades, unfortunately, this increase has not been commensurately reflected in the gender composition of subspecialty fields such as neurosurgery and radiation oncology.1 2 Paediatric radiation oncology, in conjunction with medical oncology and surgical oncology, comprises an indispensable aspect of optimal multidisciplinary paediatric oncology care and represents an essential aspect of radiation oncology. The demographic composition of the paediatric academic radiation oncology workforce has not been previously investigated.
In September 2019, every National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centre in the USA (n=51) was examined by internet investigation for paediatric radiation oncologists (as ascertained from oncologic practice description). Faculty gender, institution of employment, level of professorship, underrepresented minority status (African-American race and/or Hispanic ethnicity as previously described3) and departmental leadership position (chair and/or programme director) were collected for each radiation oncologist. Variables were coalesced for statistical analysis using Fisher’s exact test, with statistical significance at p<0.05.
Among 993 radiation oncologists total, 79 paediatric radiation oncologists (8%) were identified, of whom 45.6% were women (table …
Contributors Conception, design and data collection: SMC and CCH. Statistical analysis and manuscript writing: SMC. Data interpretation and final approval of the manuscript: SMC, CCH, RCZ and JJJ.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests Dr McClelland received research funding from the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation. Christina Huang was supported by the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute's Medical Student Training Applied to Research fellowship award. No author has any conflicts of interest.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.