HealthDay News — According to a report presented during the 2017 American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles, the proportion of female neurosurgery residents is slowly increasing.

Jaclyn Janine Renfrow, MD, of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and colleagues reviewed databases from the AANS and the American Board of Neurosurgery (ABNS) from 1964 through 2013. They sought to determine the number and trajectory of female neurosurgery graduates.

The team identified 379 female neurosurgery residency graduates over the 50-year span. The majority (70%) became ABNS-certified. After residency completion, 27% of female graduates continued into fellowship training, most commonly pediatric neurosurgery. 

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Upon completion of training, 26% entered academic medicine: 46% attained the rank of assistant professor, 36% attained the rank of associate professor, and 18% attained full-professor rank.

The authors conclude that the proportion of female neurosurgery residents is slowly increasing. “After training, the distribution of women in private vs. academic environments is roughly equal in proportion to male neurosurgeons,” according to a news release. 

“The number of female neurosurgeons in academic leadership positions remains low, with only a single female neurosurgery department chair and an under-representation of [women] in higher academic ranks.”


“Neurosurgery: A World of Innovation.” American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Updated 2017. Available at: Accessed April 25, 2017.

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