Leadership, Recognition Awards and Publication by Men and Women in the American Academy of Neurology

Neurology. 2020 Sep 15;10.1212/WNL.0000000000010810. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000010810. Online ahead of print.


We sought to study sex with respect to publications, leadership and recognition awards in the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in light of recent research highlighting inequities in these domains.

Methods: We examined medical school graduation, neurology residency (using American Medical Association and the American Council for Graduate Medical Education), membership in the AAN, first and last authorship in Neurology, membership on AAN committees, and AAN recognition awards, by sex, in 1997, 2007, 2017.

Results: Female medical students were less likely to enter neurology residency in 1997 only. In 2007 and 2017, there was no proportionate difference between men and women as last author, a surrogate for senior member of the author panel. In 2017, women were proportionately more likely to be first authors than men, a surrogate for principal investigator of the study. Committee membership was less for women in 1997 and 2007 (P <0.001) but was not proportionately different in 2017 (P=0.534). Women were proportionately more likely to receive recognition awards in all years studied (1997 p=0.008, 2007 p<0.001. 2017 p <0.001) although absolute numbers of women were less.

Conclusions: Female membership, leadership (through committee membership), publications as last author were less in 1997 in the AAN. These same metrics demonstrated substantial proportionate changes, with no differences in last author in 2007 and 2017, greater likelihood for women to be first author in 2017, no differences in committee membership in 2017 and greater likelihood of receiving awards determined by merit in all three years.