Female surgeons less likely to get NIH funding, study finds

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Female surgeons are less likely to receive research funding from the National Institutes of Health than their male peers — and if they do receive a grant, it's smaller, according to a study published in JAMA Surgery.

Researchers analyzed gender disparities among 1,235 NIH grants given to 773 surgeons in 2019. 

Only 21.3 percent of grant awardees were women. Female surgeons also received less money per grant than men across all award types, researchers found. On average, men received $499,631 per research grant, while women received $428,109. 

Last year, no Black or Hispanic woman, nor female orthopedic specialists, received a R01 grant, the original and oldest grant program used by NIH. 

Study authors said targeted efforts are needed to address these sex and racial/ethnic disparities among surgeon researchers.

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