American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons
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Trends in Female Representation at Plastic Surgery Meetings: A Move Toward Gender Equity
Shivani Pandya, BS1; Sinan K. Jabori, MD2; Sara J. Stewart, BS1; Salman Alawadi, MS3; Anne-Sophie Lessard, MD2; Devinder Singh, MD2; Sara Danker, MD2
1University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 2Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Miami, Miami, FL 3Division of Educational and Psychological Studies, University of Miami, Miami, FL

Background: Anecdotally, female plastic surgeons are disproportionately underrepresented as speakers, moderators, and panelists at national and regional plastic surgery meetings. No studies have attempted to quantify female representation at Plastic Surgery The Meeting (PSTM). The objective of our study is to examine trends in female participation at PSTM
Methods: Names of participating plastic surgeons and their conference positions were obtained from PSTM meeting programs between 2015-2020. Conference positions included instructor, lead, lecturer, moderator, panelist, or other. Presentations were grouped as the following: conference/symposium; general session; instructional course; and lab. An automated gender assignment tool (gender-api.com) was used to determine the gender of participants. Descriptive statistics and trend analyses using Cochran-Armitage trend tests were performed
Results: Between 2015-2020, 3,382 individuals (602 females, 17.8%) presented at PSTM in one of the instructional or moderating roles. Female participation at PSTM increased from 60 (12.4%) in 2015, to 155 (26.5%) by 2020. The results for the proportion of females presenting in the general session and the instructional courses were statistically significant (p < .0001; p =.029), demonstrating a positive linear trend in the female proportions over the years. The percentages of increase from 2015 to 2020 were 113.1% for the general session, and 82.0% for the instructional course. The results for the conference/symposium and labs were not significant. From 2015 to 2020, the proportions of females holding positions as moderators, panelists, and “other” increased significantly (p = .011; p = .011; p < .0001). The percentages of increase from 2015 to 2020 were 70.8% for moderators, 81.4% for panelists, and 240.8% for “others.” However, the instructors, leads, and lecturers positions were not significant. Finally, whereas there were no females as presidents of plastic surgery organizations who participated in PSTM in 2015 (out of n=3), 66.7% of presidents were female by 2020 (p=0.046) (n=3)
Conclusion: Although female participation at PSTM has shown substantial growth over the last five years, there still exists a considerable gender imbalance. Notably, females were less likely to hold prominent positions, such as instructors, leads, or lecturers.


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