Abstract submission and acceptance rates for men and women in academic pediatric orthopaedic surgery: An analysis of POSNA annual meeting abstract submissions 2012-2015

Melinda S. Sharkey, Richard S. Feinn, Sean V. Cahill, Alexandra Batter, Afamefuna M. Nduaguba, Todd Cassese, Cordelia W. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: It has recently been demonstrated that women members of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) participate at the Annual Meeting at disproportionately lower rates than men members, as defined by accepted abstract(s). We hypothesize that this discrepancy is associated with lower abstract submission rates by women members. Methods: POSNA membership directories for the years 2012-2015 were used to record the name, sex, membership category, and years of membership for each member. Final programs for Annual Meetings and abstract submission records for the same time period were used to record the number of accepted and rejected abstracts for each member. General estimating equations with a binomial model and logit link were used to compare the proportion of abstract acceptances between sexes across years. Results: During the period 2012-2015, active members included 534 men (83.8%) and 103 women (16.2%), whereas candidate members included 207 men (64.7%) and 113 women (35.3%). When active and candidate members were considered collectively, men were significantly more likely to have an accepted abstract (P=0.009) and this significant difference did not change over the 4-year period (P=0.627). However, men submitted significantly more abstracts per member per year than women (means: 1.5 abstracts/man/y; 0.8 abstracts/woman/y; P<0.001). This held true for both candidate members (early career) (P=0.001) as well as active members (mid-career) (P<0.001). When the total number of abstract submissions per year per member was taken into account, the percentage of abstract acceptances was similar for men and women (men=42%, women=40%; P=0.847). Conclusions: Abstract acceptance rates were similar for women and men members of POSNA for the 2012-2015 Annual Meetings. However, men had a significantly greater number of abstract submissions per member than women, and consequently, men presented a higher proportion of abstracts relative to their membership numbers. This supports our hypothesis that the disproportionately lower rate of active participation amongst women members at POSNA Annual Meetings, defined as abstract acceptance, is due to lower rates of abstract submissions, rather than to lower rates of acceptances. Level of Evidence: It is not applicable as it is not a clinical or basic science study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e77-e81
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • gender
  • orthopaedic surgeons
  • orthopaedic surgery
  • pediatric orthopaedics
  • sex
  • stereotype
  • thought leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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