According to NIH statistics, the number of funded surgical scientists has been steadily decreasing over the last decade as has the number of medical students pursuing surgical training. In addition, there remains disparity in the number of women and minorities in academic medicine;this disparity is even more severe in surgical fields. The Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) strives to stimulate young surgeons and surgical scientists to pursue careers in academic surgery and support them in establishing themselves as investigators and educators. AAS organizes two courses, the Career Development Course and Fundamentals of Surgical Research Course which aim to better prepare surgeons-in-training as well as junior faculty for successful academic surgery careers. These well established courses offer an excellent venue to encourage more women and minorities to pursue academic surgery careers as well as an opportunity to develop longstanding mentored relationships with the goal of grooming women and minorities to become academic surgery leaders in the years to come.
The specific aims of this conference grant are to: 1) Increase the attendance of women and minorities at the Association for Academic Surgery Career Development Course and Fundamental of Surgical Research Course through the creation of targeted travel awards, 2) Improve collaboration with the Association of Women in Surgery and the Association of Black Academic Surgeons and encourage course attendance by their membership through increased collaborative marketing efforts and reduced registration fees, and 3) Improve likelihood of success for women and minorities in academic surgery careers by establishing mentored relationships with select attendees/speakers and senior members of AAS.
This conference grant proposes to enhance existing courses in career development and fundamentals of surgical research offered by the Association of Academic Surgery with the long-term goal of increasing the number of women and minorities leading successful academic surgery careers. Travel awards, targeted marketing efforts and a mentor program are proposed to increase women and minority attendance and improve the learning experience for these targeted groups.