The Plastic Surgery Diversity and Inclusion Mentorship Program
Meera Reghunathan, MD1; Jiwon Sarah Crowley, MD2; Rachel Segal, BS1; Marco Aguilar, MD3; Amanda Gosman, MD1
1Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, UC San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA, 2Department of Plastic Surgery, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, 3Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine, Guadalajara, MX
Background: Several minority groups and students without home plastic surgery programs remain under-represented in plastic surgery. In other specialties, longitudinal mentorship programs have been the most successful in matriculating under-represented students into surgical residencies.1 To address the ongoing pipeline issues faced b, our division created the Plastic Surgery Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Mentorship Program and Workshop
Methods: All students were invited to apply Fall 2020, with consideration given to medical students who are (i) under-represented in medicine (UIM) including African American, Hispanic/ Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, (ii) LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer), (iii) FGLI (first generation low-income) or (iv) do not have a plastic surgery residency program associated with their medical school. Students participated in quarterly meetings with their resident mentor, as well as the annual hands-on workshop held March 20th, 2020. It included various didactic lectures, a suture lab, a resident panel, social lunch hour, and extremity and head cadaver dissections with fracture plating (Figure 1)
Results: Twenty-four students (8 male/ 16 female, 11 virtual/13 in-person) attended the workshop, with half of students identifying as UIM and half without a home program. Six residents and 3 faculty from our division participated as instructors. The course was rated 9.4/10 by students. The top met goals were gaining didactic plastic surgery knowledge (100%), exposure to a plastic surgery residency program (100%), resources to help overcome minority-specific barriers (96%), and technical skills such as suturing (96%) (Table 1). At the conclusion of the workshop, students had a significant increase in confidence in various aspects of plastic surgery knowledge and technical skills
Conclusion: In the current climate, individuals and programs are looking not just to talk about diversity issues but start addressing them. The UCSD Plastic Surgery Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Mentorship Program and Workshop demonstrated preliminary success and in the 2021-2022 academic year, will be expanding to be multi-institutional.
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