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  • Cataract/Anterior Segment, Comprehensive Ophthalmology

    Review of: Sex disparities in operating room use among cataract surgeons: A 10-year retrospective population-based analysis

    Solish D, Popovic M, Kaur H, et al. American Journal of Ophthalmology, March 2024

    A retrospective, population-based cohort study found that during a 10-year period, female comprehensive cataract surgeons in Ontario, Canada, had less allocated time in the operating room (OR) than their male counterparts, despite having a similar caseload.

    Study Design

    This was a retrospective, population-based cohort study that included 2010–2019 billing data from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan and population-level health care data from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Information from approximately 1.05 million cataract surgeries performed during this time period were included, performed by an average of 195 comprehensive cataract surgeons.


    Of the yearly mean of 195 cataract surgeons, 39 (20%) were female. While average daily case volumes were similar among male and female surgeons, male surgeons performed an average of 172.7 more surgeries per year. However, female surgeons were allocated less OR time than their male counterparts; on average, female surgeons had 12.4 fewer OR days per year over the 10-year period than male surgeons.


    The paper reports a sex-based disparity in how OR block time was allocated, but did not provide information as to the reasons for this inequity. The authors note that they did not consider full-time equivalent and days worked by both male and female surgeons.

    Clinical Significance

    Reduced OR access results in reduced case volumes for female surgeons and may represent a factor in sex-related income disparities among surgeons. Metrics for OR time allocations are vague and should be more well-defined, measurable, and transparent.

    Financial Disclosures: Dr. Sara Bozorg discloses no financial relationships.