Faculty Diversity at Academic Surgical Meetings—Opportunity for Action?

  • Hind Al-Lami
  • Juliane BingenerEmail author
Original Article



The American Surgical Association delineated deficiencies of diversity, equity, and inclusion within academic surgery. Opportunities to increase diversity are membership in surgical societies and leadership development. We hypothesized that surgical society meetings represent additional opportunities, using gender diversity as an example.


Published programs from annual meetings of three large surgical societies were reviewed. Participants’ gender was classified by first name. Online search was used for equivocal names. We used JMP Pro 14.1.0 for univariate and multivariate logistic regression.


During six meetings (2016–2018), 415 sessions with 4078 participants were included, 61% educational panels with invited faculty and 39% abstract sessions. Across all meetings, 32% of abstracts were presented by women, 22% of panel chairs or invited faculty were women. Fifty-four percent of male meeting participants were invited by their societies as moderator or speaker, and 41% of female participants were invited faculty. Fifty-nine percent of all panel chairs had no woman participant. In both univariate and multivariate regression, women had more than threefold the odds of presenting an abstract than presenting on a panel (p < 0.0001). Women were three times more likely to present in a session that was co-chaired by a woman (< 0.0001).


One in three abstract presenters in national surgery meetings was a woman, demonstrating engagement in the societies. Historically, men are more likely invited as faculty than women. The presence of a woman co-chair on a panel correlated with increased female participation. Similar scenarios may apply to other underrepresented groups.


Diversity Gastrointestinal surgery Academic meetings 


Author Contribution

Dr. A-L has met all four criteria under the definition of authorship.

Dr. B has met all four criteria under the definition of authorship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Bingener received a grant from Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons and served on Surgeon Advisory Board for Titan Medical Inc. Dr. Al-Lami has nothing to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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