A New Decade for Diversity: Trends in Female Representation at Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons
Helen Xun, BS1, Waverley He, BA1, Jonlin Chen, BS1, Chao Long, MD1, Franca Kraenzlin, MD1, Carisa Cooney, MPH1, Ashley Amalfi, MD2, Tara Huston, MD3, Kristen Broderick, MD1.
1Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA, 2Universit yof Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA, 3Stony Brook Medicine, East Setauket, NY, USA.
BACKGROUND: In 2019, the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons first Women in Plastic Surgery (WIPS) was established, reflecting the national trend to address the gender gap between men and women in surgery. Plastic surgery has increasingly equivalent ratios (female:male ratios of board-certified plastic surgeons: 1:9 in 2008 to 1:5 in 2013) as compared to other specialties (e.g., neurosurgery: 1:14 and 1:11, respectively).1 Conferences such as the annual NESPS are important opportunities to increase visibility of female role models and resources to address deterrents to surgical careers. We thus sought to examine the participation and visibility of women in NESPS over the last decade.
METHODS: bstracts and programs from NESPS regional conferences between the years of2013 to 2019 were accessed via the publicly available past meetings archives. Registration lists from 2013 to 2019 NESPS regional conferences were provided by NESPS. Registrants, panelists, speakers, moderators, and first author and senior author listed for each poster presentation, podium presentation was listed, gender determined (male or female), and genders were aggregated by category of participation. Significance was set at p < 0.05.
RESULTS: Registration of women for NESPS annual conferences was stable for five years (2013-2017), but there was an increase in female registrants from 27.1% in 2018 to 42.3% in 2019; this trend is closely followed by the percentage of podium presentation senior authors that are female (11.1% to 23.4%). We note that the visibility of female role models, as reflected by percentage of speakers, panelists, and moderators that are female, had a peak of 32.2% in 2017; fluctuation in visibility of female role models is also reflected in the percentage of podium presentation first authors who are female.
CONCLUSIONS: We found an increase in the proportion of female registrants at the annual NESPS conferences from 2013 to 2019. However, visibility of female participants fluctuated over the same period; addressing this represents one opportunity for closing the gender gap at NESPS. As the percentage of female trainees continues to rise, we look to female faculty to continue to participate in educational events such as the NESP meeting, and to be present as role models for the growing new generation of female plastic surgeons.
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