September 23, 2016
1 min read

Analysis shows increase in published female plastic surgeons

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LOS ANGELES — There was a moderate increase in the number of female plastic surgery attending physicians and residents who published studies in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery during a 45-year review, according to data presented at Plastic Surgery The Meeting.

The study by Benjamin Chang, MD, associate professor of clinical surgery in the division of plastic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, and colleagues focused on original articles published in the journal in 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2004 and 2014. It categorized any first and senior authors with an MD degree and United States affiliation by gender. Authorship trends were compared against trends from other specialties, and demographic data on plastic surgery residents and faculty were obtained from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The results showed that the percentage of female authors in the journal increased from 2.4% in 1970 to 13.3% in 2014. The percentage of female plastic surgeon residents also grew from 2.6% to 32.5% during the same time period, which exceeded the 14.2% of female plastic surgery faculty in 2014. First authors also were more common than senior authors (19.1% vs. 7.7%; P < .001).

The researchers concluded that while the increased percentages appear encouraging, there were overall fewer women authors than in other specialties including pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, internal medicine and radiation oncology (P < .05).

“Understanding reasons for these trends may ultimately help improve gender equity in academic plastic surgery,” the researchers wrote. – by Talitha Bennett


Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.



Silvestre J, et al. The Gender Gap in Academic Plastic Surgery: A 45-year Analysis. Presented at: Plastic Surgery The Meeting; Sept. 23-27, 2016; Los Angeles.