Background. Women physicians in the United States publish less than men and advance academically at a slower pace. Do such gender-based disparities also occur in cancer palliative care, a field in which women appear to hold a strong interest? Methods. We undertook a detailed survey of the cancer palliative care literature. We selected 5 cancer palliative care journals on the basis of their high impact factors, and we assessed authorship for the years 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005. We determined gender and highest educational degree for all US first and last authors. Results. A total of 794 authors are the focus of this report. In 2005, 50% of first authors were women, but only 14% were women physicians. Similarly, 39% of senior authors were women during this year, but only 8% were women physicians. Over this 15-year period, no statistically significant trends were detected to indicate an increase in the number of women authors. Conclusions. These findings are sobering. Future efforts might focus on strategies to improve rates of authorship and, ultimately, improve rates of academic promotion for women interested in cancer palliative care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health