Trends in Diversity and Inclusion Publications: Plastic Surgery
Jessica Blum, MS1; Meera Reghunathan MD2, Amanda A Gosman MD2; Paris D. Butler MD, MPH3; Wendy Chen, MD, MS4,5
1School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA 2Division of Plastic Surgery, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA 3Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA 4Division of Plastic Surgery, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA 5Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Background: The gender and ethnic composition of plastic surgery are not yet reflective of the increasingly diverse patient and medical student population. The authors aim to assess scholarly interest in diversity and inclusion of the academic plastic surgery community over time and in relation to other surgical specialties.
Methods: PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, and The Grey Literature Report databases were evaluated for publications from 1990 to 2020 regarding women and minorities in surgery and surgical subspecialties in the United States. The Association of American Medical Colleges Physician Specialty Data Reports and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Data Resource Books provided resident/fellow and faculty data for plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery and other select specialties from 2011 to 2016.
Results: Twenty-three publications have examined diversity in plastic surgery (gender, n=18; race/ethnicity/under-represented in medicine [UIM], n=6). Plastic surgery has significantly more literature published per year regarding gender diversity (0.58 publications/ year) than ethnic/racial diversity (0.19 publications/year) (p 0.05), while gender diversity has increased significantly for all specialties (p< 0.001) compared to all other surgical specialties (Figure 2).
Conclusion: Scholarly interest from plastic surgery in women and UIM surgeons has increased over time (p<0.05), yet this increased interest has disproportionately focused on gender diversity. Intentional investment of human and financial resources is required if we hope to see increased racial/ethnic diversity manifest for future generations of plastic surgeons. Our field must set an example by changing its culture to prioritize diversity and inclusion.
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