2020 Women in Thoracic Surgery Update on the Status of Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery

Duy Khanh P. Ceppa, Mara B. Antonoff, Betty C. Tong, Lava Timsina, John S. Ikonomidis, Stephanie G. Worrell, Elizabeth H. Stephens, Erin A. Gillaspie, Lana Schumacher, Daniela Molena, Lauren C. Kane, Shanda Blackmon, Jessica S. Donington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Women in Thoracic Surgery (WTS) has previously reported on the status of women in cardiothoracic (CT) surgery. We sought to provide a 10-year update on women in CT surgery. Methods: An anonymous research electronic data capture survey link was emailed to female diplomats of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Survey questions queried respondents regarding demographics, training, accolades, practice details, and career satisfaction. The survey link was open for 30 days. Results were compared with The Society of Thoracic Surgeons 2019 workforce survey. Descriptive analyses were performed using frequency and proportions. Comparisons were performed using Student's t tests, Fisher's exact tests, and χ2 tests. Results: Of 354 female diplomats, 309 were contacted and 176 (57%) responded. The majority of respondents were aged 36 to 50 years (59%), white (67.4%), and had graduated from traditional-track programs (91.4%). Most respondents reported practicing in an urban (64%) and academic setting (73.1%). 36.4% and 23.9% reported a general thoracic and adult cardiac practice (22.7% mixed practice, 9.6% congenital). Fifty percent of respondents reported salaries between $400,000 and $700,000 annually; 37.7% reported salaries less than 90% of their male colleagues; 21.6% of respondents in academia are full professor; 53.4% reported having a leadership role. Whereas 74.1% would pursue a career in CT surgery again, only 27.3% agreed that CT surgery is a healthy and positive environment for women. Conclusions: The number of women in CT surgery has steadily increased. Although women are rising in academic rank and into leadership positions, salary disparities and the CT surgery work environment remain important issues in achieving a diverse work force.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)918-925
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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