Nevin Manimala Statistics

Operative Autonomy in a Gender Balanced Cohort of Surgical Trainees

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2023 Mar 15. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000010407. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Gender inequity continues to be a major focus of improvements within surgical education. Female trainees are fewer in number and suffer reduced quality of surgical training. Prior studies have demonstrated that surgical autonomy for female trainees in a range of surgical disciplines is less than that of male trainees. As a unique example amongst Australasian specialty training boards, The New Zealand Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has boasted a gender balanced cohort of surgical trainees since 2013. We sought to examine the effect of gender on surgical autonomy in a cohort of trainees where gender balance has been achieved.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was undertaken. Anonymised logbook data for New Zealand plastic surgery trainees was analysed, for the study period, comprising rotations from December 2013 to June 2020. Self-reported levels of trainee supervision were compared against gender. Outcomes were tested using multivariate analysis.

RESULTS: 38 trainees were included in the study (58% Female), with a total of 81,178 cases recorded over the 6.5-year study period. No overall statistically significant difference in surgical autonomy was identified when analysed by gender. Male and female trainees showed similar trends of increasing surgical autonomy throughout the course of surgical training.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In a cohort of surgical trainees which has reached gender balance, the negative impact of gender on surgical autonomy was not identified. These findings suggest that where women make up an equal proportion of trainees, the implicit gender bias within surgical training may be ameliorated.

PMID:36917746 | DOI:10.1097/PRS.0000000000010407

By Nevin Manimala

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