“The Times They Are a-Changin’” sang Bob Dylan in the 1960s, predicting many and sweeping changes… (1), but almost nothing seems to have changed in surgery in terms of men’s and women’s roles. We still see a significant difference in the number of women who graduate with a degree in medicine and the number of women who become chiefs of surgical units, editors, members of editorial boards, or peer reviewers. This is unacceptable, and we must take steps to remedy it.
Therefore, we are glad to share the editorial by Melina Kibbe, “Call to Action to All Surgery Journal Editors for Diversity in the Editorial and Peer Review Process,” (2) and to endorse her lucid and compelling words: “As a surgery journal editor, I pledge to strive for gender equity in the peer-review process, and diversity—in all its forms—among the editorial board and editorial leaders.” We also welcomed her invitation to editors around the globe to write an editorial detailing their journal’s position with respect to the intolerable bias against women. In this regard, we would like to highlight the fact that, of the 252 editors of 215 surgical journals, only 17 (6.7%) are women.
UPDATES in Surgery has no women editors. Although we have worked hard to make the editorship of our journal, the official journal of the Italian National Society of Surgeons (SIC), more international, we must apologize for not having focused on gender diversity. In the following editorial, we examine our own “road to Damascus,” in the hope that it might offer insights for our readers, individual surgeons and institutions alike.
We are, therefore, glad to welcome Micaela Piccoli, Stefania Brozzetti and Gaya Spolverato to our editorial board, ushering in a more equitable era for our journal. We also welcome Paolo Miccoli, Luigi Bonavina and Donato Altomare as Associate Editors, and Gianlorenzo Dionigi as Consultant Editor.
Lastly, thanks to the broad and growing interest in our journal, as of 2021, UPDATES in Surgery will be published every 2 months.
In these dramatic times, we, men and women together, are at the forefront of the fight against the COVID pandemic: many have lost their lives and the only fitting way to honor them is to continue do to do our job, even if it means putting ourselves at risk. It is our mission; it is our way to receive by giving. We must live up to our commitment, our oath as doctors.
Bob Dylan, January 1964
M. R. Kibbe, J Freischlag, Jama Surgery, August 2020
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