How the Pandemic Impacted the Academic Production of Women Physicians

At the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, when many Americans transitioned to working at home, the scholarly production of academic articles increased in most fields. But a new study led by researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois finds that among physicians, men’s scholarly productivity increased while women physicians submitted fewer works to publishers.

Researchers performed a bibliometric analysis of journal submissions to see how submission rates changed during the pandemic. With access to the last five years of submission data from the Annals of Family Medicine, the top-ranked primary care journal, the scientists reviewed submission data before and during the pandemic. In the five years before the pandemic women accounted for 46.3 percent of all articles submitted. But in the first few months of the pandemic, women accounted for only 41.5 percent of all submissions.

“The worry is that these problems will compound,” said Katherine Wright, the paper’s corresponding author and the director of research in the department of family and community medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “As men were able to submit more, they may benefit from more citations, promotions, funding, and career opportunities as women fall further behind.

“Publications are still the hallmark of tenure and promotion decisions, so we want to make sure women aren’t at risk of falling further behind,” Dr. Wright explained. “Our hope is this data might be used by promotion and tenure committees to reevaluate promotion criteria.”

Dr. Wright is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master of public health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Ph.D. in research methodology from Loyola University in Chicago.

The full study, “COVID-19 and Gender Differences in Family Medicine Scholarship,” was published in the Annals of Family Medicine. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply