Objective: The Association of Program Directors in Surgery Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce (APDS-DIT) was created in 2017 after the Executive Committee recognized low diversity in its membership. The DIT was charged to address gaps in diversity and inclusion at various phases of training and development from medical student to surgical leader. The aim of this study was to examine APDS demographics and determine the status of inclusion of women, racial and ethnic minorities, and nonuniversity surgeons.
Design: Eleven years (2008-2018) of APDS annual-meeting programs, web directory, 2018-membership lists, and 2017-AAMC data were analyzed. Leadership positions were examined by officer (program chair/vice chair, executive committee, and board of directors. Internet searches identified gender, race, and institutional affiliation. Representative members to other organizations, resident liaisons, and historian members were excluded. APDS "Member," "Associate," and "Resident" lists and AAMC data were divided by gender.
Results: Fifty-one individuals fulfilled 223 leadership positions over 11 years; 13 (25%) were women and 5 (10%) were non-Caucasian. Since 2013, the percentage of nonuniversity surgeons in APDS leadership has declined while, over the last 2 years, the percentage of women and ethnic/racial minority has increased. In 2018, the percentage of women in leadership (38%) was higher than the percentage of women in membership (combined total of program directors and associate program directors [26%]) and nonuniversity-affiliated surgeons comprised 35% of the APDS membership but only 14% of leadership roles.
Conclusions: Over the last 11 years, representation of women, non-Caucasians, and nonuniversity surgeons has been at or less than 1/3 of their counterparts. As an organization that is tasked with creating future generations of the surgical workforce, it is imperative to recognize an under-representation of those members with diverse backgrounds that would add to the creative growth of the organization. The creation of the APDS-DIT emphasizes the organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion and an effort to create a pipeline of diverse leaders in the APDS and surgical training in general.
Keywords: APDS; Interpersonal and Communication Skills; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; Professionalism; diversity; education; inclusion; leadership; surgery.
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