Surgical time out: Our counts are still short on racial diversity in academic surgery



      This study provides an updated description of diversity along the academic surgical pipeline to determine what progress has been made.


      Data was extracted from a variety of publically available data sources to determine proportions of minorities in medical school, general surgery training, and academic surgery leadership.


      In 2014–2015, Blacks represented 12.4% of the U.S. population, but only 5.7% graduating medical students, 6.2% general surgery trainees, 3.8% assistant professors, 2.5% associate professors and 2.0% full professors. From 2005-2015, representation among Black associate professors has gotten worse (−0.07%/year, p < 0.01). Similarly, in 2014–2015, Hispanics represented 17.4% of the U.S. population but only 4.5% graduating medical students, 8.5% general surgery trainees, 5.0% assistant professors, 5.0% associate professors and 4.0% full professors. There has been modest improvement in Hispanic representation among general surgery trainees (0.2%/year, p < 0.01), associate (0.12%/year, p < 0.01) and full professors (0.13%/year, p < 0.01).


      Despite efforts to promote diversity in surgery, Blacks and Hispanics remain underrepresented. A multi-level national focus is imperative to elucidate effective mechanisms to make academic surgery more reflective of the US population.


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