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Standardizing Professional Title Use at American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meetings

      In this issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, Huang et al reviewed recordings from 3 consecutive American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meetings and assessed for bias in the use of professional titles in speaker introductions.
      • Huang C.C.
      • Lapen K.
      • Shah K.
      • et al.
      Evaluating bias in speaker introductions at the American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting.
      The authors are the first to address this important topic within the radiation oncology community. Their findings add to the recent emerging data from similar studies on gender bias in speaker introductions at annual conferences of other specialties and organizations (Table 1).
      Table 1Summary of published studies evaluating the relative frequency of formal title use in speaker introductions according to gender of introducers and speakers at major conferences
      Society or organization Year Presentations reviewed, n Percentage of time a formal title was used by introducers or received by speakers Female speakers, %
      Overall, % Female introducers, % Male introducers, % F→M, % F→F, % M→F, % M→M, % Female speakers, % Male speakers, %
      IMGR 2014 321 76 96.2 65.6 (P <.001) 95 97.8 49.2 72.4 (P <.001)
      Comparing M→F vs M→M introductions.
      69.7 78.8 (P, nr) 34
      ASCRS 2017 322 58 68.7 54.0 (P = .02) 66.7 73.9 36.4 59.2 (P = .003)
      Comparing M→F vs M→M introductions.
      78 61.6 (P, nr) 24
      ASCO 2017-18 781 73 79.5 68.4 (P, nr) 82 75 53 80 (P <.01)
      Comparing M→F vs M→M introductions.
      62 81 (P <.001) 41
      ASH 2018 645 62 No significant adjusted differences by gender 66 59 (P <.01) 41
      AUA 2017-19 622 61 72.2 59.9 (P = .08) 75.6 61.5 61.5 59.6 (P, ns)
      Comparing M→F vs M→M introductions.
      61.5 60.8 (P = 1.0) 15
      ASTRO 2017-19 1226 72 82 65 (P <.001) 82 81 67 64% (P, ns)
      Comparing M→F vs M→M introductions.
      73% 71 (P, nr) 34
      Abbreviations: ASCRS = American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeon; ASCO = American Society of Clinical Oncology; ASH = American Society of Hematology; ASTRO = American Society of Radiation Oncology; AUA = American Urologic Association; F→F = female introducers for female speakers; F→M = female introducers for male speakers; IMGR = Internal Medicine Grand Rounds; M→F = male introducers for female speakers; M→M = male introducers for male speakers; nr = not reported; ns = not significant.
      Comparing M→F vs M→M introductions.
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