The Surgical Trainee Equity Metric: Identifying Racial and Ethnic Disparities Among Surgical Specialties
Christina L Cui1, Roberto S Loanzon2, Dawn M Coleman1, Chandler A Long1, Young Kim1
1Duke University, Durham, NC;2Duke University, DURHAM, NC
INTRODUCTION: Diversity among surgical providers is associated with improved patient outcomes. It is crucial that we continue to identify, recruit, and promote under-represented minorities (URM) among all surgical subspecialties. We propose the Surgical Trainee Equity Metric (STEM) as a quantitative measure of specialty’s racial/ethnic demographic break down. METHODS: Data was collected from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education annual reports from 2013-2022. URM was defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges racial ethnic identification only, as gender and sexual orientation data was lacking. STEM was calculated as the proportion of URM residents/fellows within a specialty, relative to the overall proportion of URM trainees within all ACGME-accredited programs within the study’s ten-year period. RESULTS: From 2013-2022, a total of 108,193 residency programs trained 1,296,204 residents/fellows in the United States. Of these, 14.1% (n=182,680) self-identified as URM. Mean STEM index among surgical specialties was 0.80 (standard error, 0.01). General surgery (1.06±0.01), independent plastic surgery (1.12±0.06), integrated vascular surgery (0.96±0.03), and independent vascular surgery (0.94±0.06) had the highest STEM indices (p<0.05 each versus composite). (Figure 1) On linear regression analysis, STEM did not correlate with specialty growth over time (R2=0.14,p=0.13). CONCLUSIONS: The STEM index is the first metric to quantify racial/ethnic minority representation among surgical specialties. Vascular surgery independent and integrated residencies, as well as traditional plastic surgery and general surgery residencies have the highest STEM scores. This data may be used to improve awareness, disseminate best practices, and recruit a more diverse surgical workforce to provide improved care for patients.
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