Background: Professional and social changes have resulted in decreased involvement in organizations. Little is currently known about young plastic surgeons' attitudes toward the Plastic Surgery Foundation and its sponsored activities. The authors gathered opinions of young plastic surgeons to determine factors related to participation.
Methods: A 21-question online survey was e-mailed to all 2155 members of the Young Plastic Surgeons Forum. Questions were related to demographics, current involvement, and initiatives in education, research, funding, and health policy.
Results: Of 2155 forum members, 397 responded (19 percent response rate). Most had not contributed to the Plastic Surgery Foundation. The primary reason cited was financial hardship, and respondents noted this would change with increased practice revenue. Involvement in American Society of Plastic Surgeons committees correlated with contribution to Plastic Surgery Foundation. The main educational initiatives favored by Young Plastic Surgeons included critical analysis of literature/evidence-based medicine, statistical analysis, and compensation issues. According to respondents, primary areas for organizational focus should be clinical research, increased representation of young surgeons, and leadership development. Respondents would be more willing to donate if they could earmark their contributions for specific purposes, including leadership training, clinical research, and medical missions.
Conclusions: Methods to recruit and retain young surgeons into the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and in contributing to the Plastic Surgery Foundation should include opportunities to participate at a decreased cost, focus on compensation issues, clinical research, leadership development, and increased young surgeon representation. These data should be used to guide efforts to increase young member involvement.