MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Female representation in plastic surgery increased from 2010 to 2016, while this trajectory was not followed by blacks or Hispanics, according to a study published in the March issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Nisha Parmeshwar, from the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues examined trends in minority representation among applicants to plastic surgery using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges Electronic Residency Application Service for plastic surgery and other select specialties from 2010 to 2016.

The researchers found that despite a relative decrease in applicants, during the past seven years, there was an increase in integrated and independent resident representation among women (+2.23 percent and +0.7 percent per year, respectively). For all specialties, the proportion of female applicants and residents correlated yearly. However, for all years and specialties, the proportion of black applicants was significantly higher than the resident representation of the same year. Minimal change was seen in Hispanic applicant and resident representation.

“There exists a significant discrepancy between plastic surgery residents and applicants and medical students with regard to minority representation that may be accounted for by barriers starting as early as medical school, including an absence of mentors, lack of access to plastic surgery resources, and implicit biases,” the authors write.

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