Authorship in a peer-reviewed journal is highly regarded in both the academic and private sectors of plastic surgery. Recently, several articles have cited an increased contribution from women in the plastic surgery literature; however, none to date has analyzed the demographic trends of these female authors. The purpose of this study was to conduct an analysis of female authors in three well-known plastic surgery journals.
Articles published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Annals of Plastic Surgery, and Aesthetic Surgery Journal between January of 2015 and December of 2015 were reviewed. Supplemental journal, review, and CME articles were excluded. First, second, and last authors from the United States were reviewed and stratified by a number of categories, including sex, geographic location, and title.
Two-thousand fifty authors were reviewed. Of these, 20 percent of first authors, 24 percent of second authors, and 15 percent of last authors were women. Female representation was fairly equal among the journals, and 39 percent of women authors were international. Overall, 16 percent of fully trained plastic surgeon authors and 25 percent of resident authors were women, as compared to 15 percent female fully trained plastic surgeons and 36.2 percent female residents represented in the overall community.
Faculty are on par with national percentages of women plastic surgeons; however, women residents have lower representation in the literature than in the community as a whole. Residents and faculty must promote productivity of the younger generation of women plastic surgeons to continue increasing contributions of women to the specialty.