School of Medicine Publications and Presentations


Underrepresented in Surgery: (Lack of) Diversity in Academic Surgery Faculty

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Background: A call to increase diversity amongst academic surgery faculty (ASF) was made in 2008, after recognizing the lack of surgeons considered underrepresented in medicine (URM). We aimed to quantify and assess trends amongst URM ASF in the interval since that call-to-action.

Methods: Publicly available data on ASF were reviewed. We calculated the percent of ASF in 2018 by URM group, then stratified by academic rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Full Professor. We compared 2005 to 2018 ASF of Hispanic/Latino (HL) and African-American (AA) background; 2005 data was unavailable for other URM groups.

Results: In 2018, URM surgeons accounted for 7.06% (n=1,013/14,340) of ASF (AA: n=492, 3.43%; HL: n=485, 3.38%; American Indian/Alaskan Native: n=23, 0.16%; Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: n=13, 0.09%. When comparing 2005 to 2018, AA ASF remained stable across ranks (Total: n=298, 3.12% vs. n=492, 3.43%, p=0.09) while HL ASF decreased across ranks (Total: n=415, 4.35% vs. n=485, 3.38%, p=0.00007).

Conclusion: Surgeons from URM backgrounds account for 7% of ASF. No increase in AA and a decrease in HL ASF occurred from 2005 to 2018. There is a paucity of data for other URM groups. Active strategies to increase diversity and inclusion in academic surgery are necessary.

Publication Title

Journal of Surgical Research



Academic Level

medical student

Mentor/PI Department