Diversity in Neurosurgery

World Neurosurg. 2021 Jan;145:197-204. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.08.219. Epub 2020 Sep 3.


Over the past century, the field of neurosurgery has evolved and expanded in various directions. Neurosurgeons have continuously pushed the boundaries of the specialty with scientific discovery and innovation. A diverse array of neurosurgical techniques, treatments, and new areas of study have emerged within the field. Meanwhile, the neurosurgical workforce has stayed demographically homogeneous throughout time. Certain groups remain underrepresented owing to systemic barriers based on social identities and categorizations, including gender, race, ability status, and others. In this article, we highlight some of the underrepresented groups in neurosurgery and chronicle the important contributions and achievements that individuals from these groups have made in the field despite structural barriers and discrimination. We present evidence from the basic sciences, economics, business, and other disciplines that illustrate that diversity is not only just but also the most rational pursuit for positive growth and advancement. Diversity is needed to enrich the specialty and augment its capacity to serve the heterogeneous population of patients that reflect our society. To promote equity and diversity in the field, ongoing deliberate, organized, and systematic efforts to change the status quo and make the field more inclusive are needed.

Keywords: Biodiversity; Diversity; Equity; Gender; Inclusion; Race.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Neurosurgery / history
  • Neurosurgery / trends*
  • Physicians, Women*
  • Workforce