American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting

Source:

Bi AS, et al. Paper 419. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting; Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 2021; San Diego.

Disclosures: Karamitopoulos reports no relevant financial disclosures.
October 08, 2021
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Upward trend of women in orthopedics seen at associate program, program director levels

Source:

Bi AS, et al. Paper 419. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting; Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 2021; San Diego.

Disclosures: Karamitopoulos reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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SAN DIEGO — In 2020, more than 11% of 161 orthopedic residency programs had female directors and 2% of 153 orthopedic departments had female chairs, results of a study focused on women in orthopedic leadership positions showed.

Mara S. Karamitopoulos, MD, FAAOS, and colleagues at NYU Langone Health used publicly available information for their study, which was presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, here. Their research highlighted the representation of women within orthopedic leadership positions.

Data were collected in January 2020 from public websites regarding demographics and academic information. In addition, residency program information obtained from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education website was cross-referenced with the Electronic Residency Application Services, which, according to the abstract, identified the 161 orthopedic residency programs in place during the 2018 to 2019 cycle.

Mara S. Karamitopoulos
Mara S. Karamitopoulos

“We know that about 14% to 15% of orthopedic residents are female,” Karamitopoulos told Healio Orthopedics, noting that a focus of the study was whether the increased number of women in “junior people is playing out in terms of leadership positions.”

She said, “What we found is we’re doing slightly better in terms of female chairs. From 2014 to the present, we’ve gone from one to four, which was still not many, but a significant improvement.”

Associate, program director results

The analysis showed a greater presence of women at the associate program and program director levels within orthopedics, Karamitopoulos said. “We’re finding over 25% of those positions are filled by women and, interestingly, there seemed to be a direct correlation that was statistically significant between the place that those women had trained for medical school and for residency, and where they ended up being in these junior leadership programs.”

Although the abstract indicated a good distribution by geographic region of female program directors, results showed their highest concentration was in the Midwest (16.7%), whereas two-thirds of female department chairs were working in the Northeast at the time the study was conducted in 2020.

Other findings showed female program directors had fewer years in practice vs. their male counterparts, about 12 years vs. 17 years, respectively. Female department chairs also had spent a significantly shorter amount of time in their positions compared with male chairs, for a statistically significant difference of about 2 years vs. about 9.3 years, respectively.

The study “shows that our pipeline may be working. I think we still have a long way to go, but that, to myself and my co-authors, was a positive trend,” Karamitopoulos, said.

Subjective information needed

As an associate program director at NYU Langone, Karamitopoulos said she was particularly interested in the topic and results of the study. “It was even more important to me to look at this,” she said.

“I would like to get more data from these women in junior leadership positions to find out a bit more about who they are and some of the decision-making processes, how they were mentored and a bit more about what these institutions are doing to select talent and keep it because I think that’s the crux of it,” Karamitopoulos said. “Everyone says mentorship is the key. We have to get women into the pipeline.”