Diversity and Inclusion in Plastic Surgery Education: A National Survey by the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons

Sara Obeid, Alex Fanning, C. Scott Hultman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: To date, there have been few studies in the field of plastic surgery examining the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of educators and residents regarding diversity and inclusion, especially for the purposes of enhancing resident education, improving diversity efforts, and addressing health care disparities. Methods: An anonymous survey was provided electronically to a total of 462 American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeon members and 91 program coordinators (PCs), and 1,029 plastic surgery residents at 91 institutions across the United States. We analyzed the responses from PCs and program directors (PDs). Results: We collected responses from 34 institutions (37%), and 16.8% of American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeon members including 34 PCs and 44 PDs. We found that PDs were more likely to be male (86%) and above the age of 40 years (97%) compared with PCs (5% male and 61% above 40 years). Both groups were majority White. Fifty-nine percentage of PDs have a parent/guardian who attained a graduate degree versus 15% of PCs. Forty-eight percentage of PDs speak another language compared with 16% of PCs. More importantly, 95% of PDs had an opportunity to engage in diversity and inclusion-related activities in the last 6 months as compared with 43% of PCs; however, we did not find a statistical difference based on knowledge of increasing institutional capacity of diversity and inclusion between the 2 groups. PCs were more likely to witness discrimination (64%) than PDs (40%) in the health care setting, with body type/weight emerging as the most common type of discrimination. Very few respondents (10%) indicated they discriminated against others. Conclusions: Plastic surgery educators are committed to diversity and inclusion. Improvements can be made by incorporating PCs more frequently in activities related to the topic along with focused training on improving diversity on an institutional rather than individual level. Our study suggests body type/weight is the most common type of discrimination witnessed by the entire cohort and that diversity and inclusion remains a sensitive topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1469
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Diversity and Inclusion in Plastic Surgery Education: A National Survey by the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this