To define and compare gender diversity among faculty and trainees within hand surgery fellowship programs.
We determined the gender of each program director for all orthopedic residency and fellowship programs. Specific to hand fellowship programs, we determined the gender of the fellowship director and all faculty members for all plastic surgery and orthopedic hand fellowship programs. Lists of prior hand surgery fellows from 2014 to 2019 were obtained from official program websites or program coordinators. The gender distribution of the hand fellowship program directors and faculty was compared to the prior fellows.
Hand surgery fellowship programs had the second highest percentage of female fellowship directors (13%) behind orthopedic oncology (27%). Within hand surgery, 614 total faculty positions were identified, and 15% were female. Of the 89 hand surgery programs evaluated, 36 (60%) had at least 1 female faculty member. For the 849 prior fellows identified, 213 (25%) were female, and 79% of programs had at least 1 female fellow. Hand programs led by a female director did not have a higher percentage of prior female fellows compared to programs led by a male director (26% vs 25%). Programs with a female fellowship director were as likely to have had at least 1 prior female fellow compared to programs with a male fellowship director.
For orthopedic subspecialties, hand surgery fellowship programs had the second highest percentage of female fellowship directors (13%). While mentorship plays an important role in surgical education, hand fellowship programs with female faculty did not appear to attract more female fellows or faculty.
Hand fellowship programs should recognize that the presence of female faculty may not be a primary factor in fellowship selection for female applicants, and further study into recruiting qualified female candidates should be encouraged.

Copyright © 2021 American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.