Gender And Ethnic Diversity In Plastic Surgery: Temporal Trends Among Speakers At National Plastic Surgery Conferences
Wilmina N. Landford, M.D.1, Ledibabari Mildred Ngaage, MA Cantab MB BChir2, Jocellie Marquez, MD, MBA3, Talia Stewart, MHS4, Sourish Rathi, BE3, John Hill, BA3, Robin Yang, MD, DDS1, Justin Sacks, MD, MBA1.
1Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA, 2University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA, 3Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA, 4Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH, USA.
PURPOSE: Academic visibility is essential in shaping the trajectories of academic careers. Leadership opportunities such as speaking arrangements, session chair positions, and award acknowledgements offer an opportunity for surgeons to affirm their academic leadership. However, previous studies have demonstrated the extent to which academia is stratified, with bias in speaker selection and unequal distribution of awards among researchers. Furthermore, gender and ethnic differences continue to exist despite long-running policies to improve gender and racial inequity. In order to evaluate the academic representation of female and ethnic attendings, fellows, and residents, we reviewed abstracts from the annual meetings of national and regional plastics surgery conferences.
METHODS: All podium presentations from national plastic surgery meetings (PSRC, AAPS, ASPS) in the United States were analyzed from 2014 to 2018. Gender and ethnicity were determined by querying publicly available institutional websites, social media platforms, and google search. Linear regression analysis was used to identify temporal trends in gender/ethnic representation. Chi-square statistical tests examined the relationship between the gender and ethnicity of first-authors, principal investigators (PIs), moderators with comparisons to institution, academic level, and abstract category.
RESULTS: On analysis, a total of 1112 abstracts were presented. A pronounced skew towards males (63%) who were Caucasian (50%) at U.S. institutions (91%) were shown. Upon stratification of ethnicity, speakers represented in decreasing order, Caucasian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, Latino/Brazilian, South Asian, African descent (50% vs. 23.7% vs. 8% vs. 7.2% vs. 6% vs. 2.3%, P =0.0001), respectively. Interestingly, the proportion of female speakers significantly increased over time (R=0.71, p=0.0202) while ethnic representation remained constant with exception of those of South Asian descent which were increasingly underrepresented (R -0.74, p=0.0141).
CONCLUSION: Collectively, we present multi-level data that shows a promising trend of increased female representation at national meetings. However, there appears to be a decline in ethnic diversity; therefore, contributing to the contemporary discussion of a reformed peer-review process and potentially diverse surgical field.
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