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Leadership in Plastic Surgery
Francesco M. Egro, Carolyn P. Murphy, Alexander G. Stavros, Brandon T. Smith, Vu T. Nguyen Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Background: The pathway to leadership in plastic surgery remains uncertain. While certain residency programs are more represented among academic plastic surgeons, the relationship of training on leadership has never been established. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of plastic surgery training on leadership.

Methods: First, a cross-sectional study examined the demographics and training of plastic surgery faculty within ACGME-accredited programs. Second, a retrospective review examined similar parameters among past presidents of plastic surgery societies (American Association of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Plastic Surgery Foundation, and Plastic Surgery Research Council). Data was gathered from institutional websites and society websites. Frequencies of leaders who trained at each institution during plastic surgery residency or fellowships were calculated.

Results: Among the 287 institutional leaders (112 chairs or chiefs, 109 residency directors, and 66 fellowship directors) 90 training programs were identified that contributed to their training. However, the top ten training programs accounted for 41% of the residencies and fellowships individuals received. The top five programs included University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard Medical School, respectively. Similarly, the 230 past presidents across societies trained in 51 programs, but the top ten accounted for 51% of their training. The top five institutions were Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Harvard Medical School, Washington University-St. Louis, and University of Pennsylvania, respectively. Across datasets, the top eight leadership producing institutions remained constant.

Conclusion: This study suggests that an elite cohort of institutions has consistently produced a large portion of the leaders in plastic surgery, suggesting that they have consistently fostered an aptitude for leadership among their trainees.

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