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Gender of pain medicine leadership and trainees: a survey study
  1. Jonathan Michael Hagedorn1,
  2. Thomas Pittelkow1,
  3. Nafisseh Warner1,
  4. Timothy Furnish2,
  5. Scott Brancolini3,
  6. Darrell R Schroeder1,
  7. Halena Gazelka1 and
  8. Susan Moeschler1
  1. 1Pain Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2Pain Medicine, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
  3. 3Pain Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan Michael Hagedorn, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; jonhagedornmd{at}


Background Women are entering medical school in record numbers, but multiple male-dominated medical specialties still exist, including pain medicine. It is not well-understood how gender diversity in academic pain medicine faculty affects fellow matriculation between female and male applicants.

Objective We conducted a survey to ascertain whether gender diversity of those in leadership roles in pain medicine programs impacts the gender diversity of fellows in those programs.

Methods A questionnaire was delivered to all Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited pain medicine fellowships to assess their demographic data in 2018. Program characteristics are summarized using median (25th, 75th) for continuous variables and frequency counts and percentages for categorical variables. Analyses were then performed using a generalized linear mixed model with a logit link function and fellowship program included as a random effect. The gender of the fellow was the dependent variable and the program characteristics were the explanatory variables.

Results Data from 45 of 104 fellowship programs (43% response rate) are included. From univariate analysis, the odds of a fellow being female were higher in programs with a female program director (OR=2.17, 95% CI 1.29 to 3.65, p=0.004) and in programs with a higher percentage of female faculty (OR=1.02, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.04, p=0.027). From multivariable analysis, having a female program director was the only program characteristic found to be significantly associated with female fellows (OR=2.07, 95% CI 1.05 to 4.11, p=0.037).

Conclusions Pain medicine fellowship programs with a female program director were significantly more likely to have female fellows.

  • education
  • ethics
  • pain medicine
  • interventional pain management

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  • Contributors All the authors contributed to the manuscript and agreed on the final document. JHM, TP, TF, and SM created the survey. DRS created the tables and figure, and performed the statistical analysis.

  • 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 None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.