Assessing and Addressing Gender Gaps in the American Society for Surgery of the Hand

      Gender disparities persist among medical subspecialty societies, including the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH). Surgical subspecialties in particular have lagged behind other medical specialties with respect to the number of women in training and practice. Orthopedic surgery, one of the surgical subspecialties making up hand surgery, has the lowest percentage of female residents and faculty among medical subspecialties. Institutions such as the ASSH have an important role in narrowing these gaps by creating environments that welcome female engagement by recognizing and promoting female surgeons into leadership positions. By summarizing demographic data, prior literature, and drawing from examples in other specialties, this article has 3 aims: (1) to review trends in female engagement in the ASSH; (2) outline the strategies that have been implemented to improve gender diversity within the ASSH; and (3) recommend feasible methods to address historical and ongoing barriers to promotion of women within the ASSH.

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