United States' clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are often produced by professional societies and used worldwide in daily medical practice. However, studies in various medical specialties demonstrate underrepresentation of women and racial and ethnic minority groups in CPGs. The representation of authors by gender, race, and ethnicity of US pathology CPGs has not been previously evaluated.


To assess if women and individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups are underrepresented as authors of pathology CPGs.


The gender, race, ethnicity, and terminal degrees of authors of 18 CPGs from the College of American Pathologists were coded by using photographs and other available information online and compared to their representation in academic pathology per Association of American Medical Colleges benchmark data.


Two hundred seventy-five author positions (202 physician author positions) were analyzed. Women overall (119 of 275; 43.3%) and women physicians (65 of 202; 32.2%) held fewer positions than all men and men physicians. Women physicians were significantly underrepresented in physician author positions, while White men physicians were significantly overrepresented in all, first, senior, and corresponding authorship roles when compared to the proportion of women and White men physicians among pathology faculty, respectively. Asian men and women physicians were underrepresented as compared to their representation among pathology faculty.


Men, particularly White men physicians, are overrepresented among pathology CPG author positions, while women physicians and some physicians from racial and ethnic minority groups are underrepresented. Further research is needed to understand the impact of these findings on the careers of underrepresented physicians and the content of guidelines.

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The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Booth and Silver contributed equally to this work.

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