FACULTY MEMBERS IN VEITHsymposium
AND HOW THEY ARE SELECTED
Around the time of the 2021 VEITHsymposium meeting in Orlando, a number of social media Tweets appeared claiming that VEITHsymposium did not include appropriate numbers of women vascular surgeons and vascular specialists in its faculty, and implying that there existed a negative bias against women faculty members. This position statement will show that these accusations are not correct.
It will also outline how faculty is chosen for the VEITHsymposium. It will show that this process is not only gender neutral, but also that any person, regardless of gender, nationality, religion, race, medical specialty or sexual preference who wants to present their work at the VEITHsymposium annual meeting can do so.
EVIDENCE THAT WOMEN WERE APPROPRIATELY REPRESENTED ON THE 2021 VEITHSYMPOSIUM FACULTY AND THAT THERE WAS NO BIAS AGAINST WOMEN
There were 47 female faculty members on the 2021 VEITHsymposium faculty. This is one of the largest contingent of women faculty members ever gathered under the umbrella of a vascular symposium. These 47 faculty members presented 79 talks. Several more were invited speakers but did not come to Orlando because of institutional travel restrictions. Most of this year’s female faculty members presented topics; 18 also served as Session moderators; still other former female faculty members serve on our meeting’s Scientific and other Committees. While the speakers in some Sessions and associated panels were predominantly male, in other Sessions and panels, women and men were equally represented (see photo).
Moreover, for the past 20 years approximately equivalent proportions of women have been included in the meeting’s faculty and on its Committees. Many of these individuals come from countries outside the United States. Their names and countries of origin can be seen by examining (on our website) the faculty listings of our past programs. Some female faculty members were younger vascular surgeons or specialists who had presented ground breaking work at other major vascular meetings in the US and out-of-the-US.
PROCESS OF FACULTY SELECTION FOR VEITHsymposium
The organizers of VEITHsymposium strive to make it the best, most up-to-date, unbiased and complete vascular educational meeting in the world each year. To achieve this goal, its organizers must pick the best speakers with the most current information possible. Moreover, they must assign these speakers topic titles that are interesting and informative, and they must arrange these topics in an interesting and sometimes provocative or controversial manner to attract audience interest.
Speakers (faculty members) are picked to achieve these goals. Information regarding potential faculty members and topics is gleaned from journal articles, other meeting programs (national, international and regional), suggestions from those on our Scientific or other committees or vascular training program directors, various webpages (Medscape, TCTMD, Doximity, etc.) and importantly submissions of 1 or more potential topics by vascular surgeons and vascular specialists from all over the world. The latter individuals are all requesting to present their work at our meeting.
In total, for the last several years, we have received over 4000 requests to present ~5000 topics. Anyone can send a request to speak for consideration by our program committee. From these over 4000 requests to present ~5000 topics, a program of approximately 1000 topics has to be made up. The selected topics have to be fitted into 105 Sessions to create a coherent, attractive and sometimes controversial program - one which covers all the currently important areas in vascular disease management. Admittedly the prominence and speaking ability of faculty members may factor into their selection. However, gender, nationality, race, religion, medical specialty, likeability and sexual preference never influence faculty selection either positively or negatively.
Associate Faculty Program. In order to give younger and less prominent vascular surgeons and vascular specialists an opportunity to present their work at VEITHsymposium, its organizers have created an Associate Faculty Program. Anyone who wishes to submit a vascular disease related abstract for presentation at the meeting can do so. Most submitted abstracts are accepted for presentation, and all presented abstracts are published in an on-line version of the JVS. Associate faculty participants are granted a reduced registration fee. This program assures complete inclusivity for all who wish to participate as faculty at our meeting.
(Other features of VEITHsymposium can be found on the ABOUT US tab on our website.)