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Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Plastic Surgery: the ACAPS National Survey to Assess and Compare Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior in Faculty and Residents in Plastic Surgery Training Programs
Sara Obeid1, Alex Fanning1, C. Scott Hultman2 1. University of North Carolina 2. Johns Hopkins University

Background: Developing a diverse, inclusive workforce is not just a moral priority, but there also exists a strong economic argument: more diverse teams yield higher performance and better financial returns. Academic medical centers, including surgical departments, have been slow to adopt strategies and programs that increase diversity. The American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons sought to determine the status of diversity and inclusion in plastic surgery training programs.

Methods: ACAPS administered a national, anonymous, incentivized, electronic, 18-question survey (Qualtrics) to all members (n=462), plus 1029 residents at 91 institutions. We compared responses of faculty versus residents, using chi-square analysis, with significance set at p<0.05.

Results: 199 respondents completed the survey, including 45 program directors. The vast majority of educators and trainees (>95%) were fully/partially committed to diversity and inclusion, but only 63.9% felt confident in addressing concerns, and 56.2% reported adequate training. The most common types of discrimination, observed by the respondents, were related to body weight, gender, and race, whereas the most common forms of discrimination, committed by the respondents, were about body weight, medical condition, and immigration status.

Conclusions: While faculty members and residents are committed to diversity and inclusion, these groups differ considerably in terms of their own demographics and experiences. Both groups would benefit from institutional programming to educate physicians about how diverse teams can better serve diverse patient populations.

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