American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons
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Characterizing Diversity Features in Plastic Surgery Residency Program Websites
Sonali Biswas BS1, Tori Wickenheisser, MD2, Holly Lewis MD PhD2, Kristen Rezak, MD2, Brett Phillips, MD MBA2
1Duke University School of Medicine 2Duke Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery

Background: There continues to be an increased commitment in recruiting residency and faculty applicants from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine (URMs). These applicants have been shown to be more likely to attend programs where they perceive higher diversity. Because applicants rely most heavily on websites for program information, general surgery literature has identified 8 website elements used by programs to demonstrate diversity and inclusion. No study has examined how plastic surgery residency programs feature diversity and inclusion on their websites. This study aims to characterize how these programs' websites demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion, and assess whether trends vary by geographic region or rank.
Methods: All 82 accredited integrated plastic surgery residencies were reviewed. Website diversity elements were defined by prior general surgery literature and initial review of 10 plastic surgery websites. These elements included 1) non-discrimination statement, 2) diversity and inclusion message, 3) community demographics, 4) biographies of faculty and 5) residents, 6) photographs of faculty and 7) residents, 8) list of resources for trainees, 9) gender identity or pronouns of faculty and 10) residents, and 11) scholarships for underrepresented visiting medical students. We evaluated the impact of Doximity rank and geographic location per U.S. Census Bureau definitions on the diversity elements.
Results: Websites had a mean of 3.75 1.71 elements. Most programs had 0 - 4 elements (n = 54, 67.5%), some had 5 - 8 elements (n = 26.5, 32.5%), and none had greater than nine. Chi-squared test revealed no association with either rank (p = 0.40) or U.S. region (p = 0.458). The most common elements were resident photos (n = 73, 91.3%), pictures of faculty (n = 63, 78.8%), and extended faculty bios (n = 50, 62.5%). The least commonly included elements were gender identity or pronouns of residents (n = 0) and faculty (n = 3, 3.8%).
Conclusion: Most plastic surgery websites include very few elements related to diversity and inclusion. This research highlights opportunities through which plastic surgery residency program websites can further demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

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