What Does It Take To Be An Academic Plastic Surgeon In Canada: Hiring Trends Over The Last 50 Years
Andrea E. Copeland, MD, Daniel E. Axelrod, MD, MSc(c), Chloe R. Wong, BHSc, Janna L. Malone, BHSc, Matthew C. McRae, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Sophocles H. Voinesios, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Chris J. Coroneos, MD, MSc, FRCSC.
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
PURPOSE: Canadian academic plastic surgery positions have become highly competitive secondary to delayed retirement, stagnant hospital funding for operative time and resources, and a rise in the number of plastic surgery graduates. Little information is available to help graduates navigate this challenging landscape. Our objectives were to evaluate the training backgrounds of all academic plastic surgeons in Canada, and to develop training recommendations for residents wishing to pursue an academic career.
METHODS: All Canadian academic plastic surgeons were included. Training history was obtained from academic institutions' websites when available. Surgeons were subsequently emailed to confirm this information and fill in missing details. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize training histories. Multivariate regression models were designed to analyze the effect of gender and FRCSC year on number of fellowships and graduate degrees, as well as time to first academic position.
RESULTS: Complete training information was obtained online for 196 surgeons (22% female), with a 52% email response rate. Ninety-one percent of surgeons completed residency in Canada. Ninety-four percent completed fellowship training, while 43% held a graduate degree. Sixty-seven percent were hired in the same city as their residency and 18% in the same city as their fellowship. Regression analysis revealed that women take significantly longer from graduation (FRCSC) to first academic job (p<0.01), with no gender differences in graduate or fellowship training. Additionally, younger surgeons were more likely to have graduate degrees (p<0.01).
CONCLUSION: Nearly all academic plastic surgeons in Canada completed additional training through fellowships or graduate degrees, and most were employed by institutions at which they previously trained. Women appear to be disadvantaged, taking significantly longer to acquire academic positions, with no gender difference in fellowship or graduate training. Trainees should consider these patterns when planning their careers. Future research should focus on identifying reasons for gender-based discrepancies in hiring practices.
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