Stick the Landing Page: Evaluating Diversity Promotion on Integrated Plastic Surgery Residency Program Websites and Instagram Accounts
Waverley Y. He, B.A., Sai Pinni, B.S.2, Alex Karius, B.S., Jonlin Chen, B.S., Wilmina N. Landford, M.D., Franca Kraenzlin, M.D., Carisa M. Cooney, M.P.H., Kristen P. Broderick, M.D.
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; 2Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
Background: Residency program websites are a critical source of information for up to 98% of plastic surgery applicants; however, their contents may not be aligned with applicants’ desire to see commitment to diversity, including diverse representation among faculty and residents. Our aim was to assess whether and how integrated plastic surgery residency program websites and Instagram accounts demonstrate commitment to diversity as well as to identify program characteristics associated with increased diversity-related content.
Methods: We evaluated integrated plastic surgery residency program websites for eight predetermined elements highlighting commitment to diversity, including (1) nondiscrimination and (2) diversity statements, (3) community and (4) resident resources, (5) faculty and (6) resident biographies, and (7) faculty and (8) resident photographs. We also reviewed program Instagram accounts for diversity-related images, captions, and hashtags. We collected data on city population, geographic region, program type and size, Doximity rankings, chair/chief and program director gender, and percentage of female faculty and residents. We evaluated for associations between diversity elements and program characteristics using chi-squared and t-tests. Significance was set at p<0.05. Results: A total of 82 integrated plastic surgery residency program websites were reviewed, with a mean of 3.4±1.4 diversity elements. Most websites (n=27, 32.9%) featured three diversity elements, while only one (1.2%) had none. Photographs of residents (n=76, 92.7%) and faculty (n=65, 79.3%) and extended biographies by residents (n=43, 52.4%) were the most common website diversity elements. Seventy programs (85.4%) had Instagram accounts and the majority of these (n=41, 58.6%) shared content related to racial, ethnic, gender, and/or sexual diversity. Programs located in smaller cities were more likely to have at least four website diversity elements (p=0.037) and to mention diversity on Instagram (p=0.020). Programs with a female department chair/division chief were more likely to mention diversity on Instagram (female 22.0% vs male 0%, p=0.007). Conclusions: Integrated plastic surgery residency program websites and Instagram accounts should provide sufficient information to allow prospective applicants to determine “fit” from a diversity perspective. Fewer than half of program websites promote diversity according to our study criteria, highlighting an opportunity for training programs to more effectively signal programmatic commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse trainees. Nearly 60% of programs, particularly those with female leadership, post diversity-related content on Instagram; since these accounts are often resident-managed, our results demonstrate that trainees play an important role in spearheading diversity advocacy.
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