Gender and racial disparities in the transplant surgery workforce

Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2021 Oct 1;26(5):560-566. doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000915.


Purpose of review: This review explores trends in the United States (US) transplant surgery workforce with a focus on historical demographics, post-fellowship job market, and quality of life reported by transplant surgeons. Ongoing efforts to improve women and racial/ethnic minority representation in transplant surgery are highlighted. Future directions to create a transplant workforce that reflects the diversity of the US population are discussed.

Recent findings: Representation of women and racial and ethnic minorities among transplant surgeons is minimal. Although recent data shows an improvement in the number of Black transplant surgeons from 2% to 5.5% and an increase in women to 12%, the White to Non-White transplant workforce ratio has increased 35% from 2000 to 2013. Transplant surgeons report an average of 4.3 call nights per week and less than five leisure days a month. Transplant ranks 1st among surgical sub-specialties in the prevalence of three well-studied facets of burnout. Concerns about lifestyle may contribute to the decreasing demand for advanced training in abdominal transplantation by US graduates.

Summary: Minimal improvements have been made in transplant surgery workforce diversity. Sustained and intentional recruitment and promotion efforts are needed to improve the representation of women and minority physicians and advanced practice providers in the field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups
  • Quality of Life*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workforce