The Evolving Presence of Women in Academic Plastic Surgery: A Study of the Past 40 Years
Natalie M. Plana, BA1, Kimberly S. Khori, BS2, Catherine C. Motosko, BS2, Elise M. Fryml, MSc2, Lavina Anzai, BS2, Marleigh J. Stern, BA2, Grace Poudrier, BA2, Jonathan P. Massie, BS2, J. Rodrigo Diaz-Siso, M.D.2, Roberto L. Flores, M.D.2, Alexes Hazen, M.D.2.
1Plastic Surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA, 2NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.
Purpose:Among surgical subspecialties, plastic surgery holds the highest percentage of women, and the female contingent of board-certified plastic surgeons and trainees has grown steadily in the past decades. Traditionally, women in plastic surgery have been perceived to prioritize private practice models and their academic impact has been underestimated. We present the academic footprint of female plastic surgeons over the past 40 years.
Methods: A list of female plastic surgeons currently active at- and retired from- ACGME-accredited plastic surgery residency programs was compiled. Each surgeon was searched on PubMed to gather the total number of publications, journals, and topics of research after completion of training. Date of publication and five-year impact factor for each journal was recorded. Publications were organized into four consecutive 10-year periods (1976-1985, 1986-1995, 1996-2005, 2006-2016).
Results: We identified 155 currently active- and 80 retired- academic female plastic surgeons, who published 2,982 articles in 479 peer-reviewed journals with an average 5-year impact factor of 4.093. The number of publications increased with each decade: 37 (1976-1985), 218 (1986-1995), 472 (1996-2005), 2,255 (2006-2016). The most commonly published areas were hand/nerve (22%), craniofacial (21%) and breast (20%). Over time, publications in hand/nerve research decreased (76%, 60%, 38%, 14%); craniofacial-related publications increased (8%, 11%, 18%, 23%); breast research increased (0%, 8%, 9%, 24%). The 2006-2016 period yielded the most even distribution of research topics.
Conclusion: In the past four decades, the academic contribution of female plastic surgeons has substantially increased in number and have become more evenly distributed across subspecialty topics.
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