Female Ophthalmology Residents Perform Fewer Procedures

Female residents perform fewer cataract operations, total procedures than male residents

FRIDAY, July 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Female residents perform fewer cataract operations and total procedures than male residents, according to a study published online July 18 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Dan Gong, M.D., from the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective, longitudinal analysis of resident case logs from 24 U.S. ophthalmology residency programs from July 2005 to June 2017 for 1,271 residents. Differences in cataract surgery and total procedural volume were compared for male and female residents.

The researchers found that being female correlated with performing fewer cataract operations and total procedures. Male and female residents performed a mean of 176.7 and 161.7 cataract operations, respectively, and a mean of 509.4 and 451.3 total procedures, respectively. Overall, 10.4 and 15.6 percent of male and female residents, respectively, took parental leave. Male residents who took paternity leave performed a mean of 27.5 more cataract operations than those who did not take leave; female residents performed similar numbers of operations whether they took leave or did not take leave. From 2005 to 2017, each additional year correlated with an increase of 5.5 and 24.4 in cataract and total procedural volume, respectively. The increase did not differ between genders for cataracts; for total procedural volume, the increase over time was greater for men than women.

"Educators must be aware of these differences to address the apparent disparities and their root causes," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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