Objective: To describe and analyze the demographics and academic backgrounds of United States otolaryngology program directors (PD) and assess gender disparity in the field. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which an online search using publicly available sources was performed to gather information on PDs for 125 United States otolaryngology programs from May 14, 2021, to May 30, 2021. Data collected included PD appointment year, age, gender, resident gender breakdown, degree, as well as training location and graduation year. Results: There were 69.6% programs with a male PD and 30.4% with a female PD. Ninety percent of PDs have an MD degree and 9.6% have a DO degree. The current average age of PDs was 49.9 years old (range 35–79). Males were older than females PD (51.0 vs 47.1 years, P = 0.045) and have served a longer time as PD (7.1 vs 4.8 years, P = 0.019). There was no significant difference in other variables collected. There were 27.3% of program directors that held the position of professor, 44.5% associate professor, and 28.2% assistant professor. The most common subspecialty practiced by otolaryngology PDs was head and neck oncology. Conclusion: Disparity in women’s representation in otolaryngology still exists, but the program director leadership position demonstrates better parity. There is an equal percent representation when examining female PDs and female otolaryngologists in academic medicine. Continued efforts to encourage women to enter and become leaders in otolaryngology are necessary moving forward.
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