News in brief: ADC 2021 goes virtual; Bariatric surgery cuts hospitalisations; Gender disparity in citations a career barrier for women in academic medicine

Wednesday, 7 Jul 2021

ADC 2021 succumbs to COVID-19 and goes virtual

In a disappointing but not unexpected change, the ADEA and ADS have decided to transition to a completely virtual Australian Diabetes Congress.

The move is in response to the ongoing concerns and travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“ADEA and ADS are in the fortunate position to have planned for this very scenario, and are currently working with event organisers, sponsors, and presenters to ensure the very best value from the virtual Congress program,” the host organisations said.

ADC 2021 will be held online from 11-13 August.

Bariatric surgery cost effective by reducing future hospitalisation

Bariatric surgery reduces healthcare utilisation in public patients with a history of high healthcare resource use.

A Victorian study comprised 29 patients with two or more of three criteria – more than three hospital admissions, more than seven inpatient bed-days and/or ≥$10,000 healthcare costs per year.

The study found inpatient admissions reduced from a median of three before bariatric surgery to one post-surgery (p-0.003). Hospital bed days fell from a median of seven to four (p =0.0005).

Annual inpatient costs fell from $11,405 before surgery to $3,974 in the patients requiring admission post bariatric surgery.

As well, non-bariatric surgery outpatient visits fell from a median of eight to four (p=0.013).

“These data suggest that individuals who are obese and high healthcare consumers may be an appropriate group to prioritise for bariatric surgery,” the investigators said.

ANZ Journal of Surgery

Gender disparity in citations a career barrier for female academics in medicine

Women face an additional barrier to advancement in academic medicine because their articles published in medical journals have fewer citations than those written by men, a US study shows

An analysis of 5,554 articles published in 5 high-impact journals showed that, 36% had a female primary author, and 26% had a female senior author.

However, articles with women as primary author were cited a median of 36 times in other journals, compared to 54 citations of articles with male primary authors.

As senior authors, women were cited a median of 37 times, while male counterparts received a median of 51 citations.

The disparity is likely putting female academics at a disadvantage compared to their male peers because the number of citations of peer-reviewed articles is commonly used as a metric for academic recognition, influence, and in professional evaluations and promotion, the study authors said.

“This imbalance will not be solved through hiring and mentoring more women alone,” said senior author, Dr Rachel Werner of the University of Pennsylvania.

“We must also work to ensure that women already in academic medicine are equally valued and promoted for their contributions and their successes. From the journals publishing this work, to academic institutions promoting articles once published, everyone should be invested in bridging this gender divide.”

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