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Promoting Equity and Social Justice in our Workforce and in Surgical Care

Over the last several months of the COVID pandemic, Annals of Surgery has taken the lead amongst surgical journals in gathering and dissemination of new data, guidelines, and opinions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This disease will be with us for the foreseeable future, and we will continue to publish scientific advances and commentary that informs surgical practice. But it is time to shift the focus of our "fast track" process and use this platform to another arena.

Our society is confronting a second crisis related to the social injustice stemming from deep-rooted structural racism.  All of us recognize and deplore the reprehensible acts of racism in the news, but we need to recognize that we are all complicit in propagating significant biases and acts of discrimination within our hospitals, our departments, and we all share in sustaining the status quo that leads to disparities in the delivery of healthcare across America. 

We, the editors of Annals of Surgery, pledge to use this platform, one of the most respected and widely cited surgical journals in the world, to promote equity in our workforce and in surgical care. We will be seeking articles recognizing and addressing the social injustices and the failure of diversity, inclusion and equality that occurs within the field of surgery. We hope to educate all of our readership on how structural racism impacts our hospitals and our departments.  We will use this forum to discuss the biases that affect recruitment and promotion of residents, faculty and staff, to promote best practices in providing equality in opportunity and compensation, and to take efforts to provide mentorship and sponsorship for faculty regardless of race, color, gender, or sexual orientation.  In order for the journal to provide the highest level of expertise as we move forward with this new and important agenda, Annals welcomes Zara Cooper, MD, MSc, from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston as a new Associate Editor.  Dr. Cooper is well-recognized as an expert in both healthcare disparities and social injustices.  In addition, Dr. Cooper is an acute care and trauma surgeon and a surgical intensivist with a focus on improving end-of-life and palliative care.    

We look forward to your contributions as either Surgical Perspectives articles, offering your opinions and suggested guidelines, or as original scientific articles based on data.  We will continue to make this message a priority for our journal until we see a change in these injustices in the delivery of health care and across our departments and society.  We also dedicate to use our social media efforts to share these important messages far beyond the traditional sites of access to the journal.

Keith D. Lillemoe, MD
Editor-in-Chief
Annals of Surgery
Mary E. Klingensmith, MD
Associate Editor
Annals of Surgery

​Pierre A. Clavien, MD, PhD
Associate Editor
Annals of Surgery
​Thomas E. Read, MD
Associate Editor
Annals of Surgery
​Zara Cooper, MD, MSc
Associate Editor
Annals of Surgery
​Sandra L. Wong, MD
Associate Editor
Annals of Surgery
​Justin B. Dimick, MD, MPH
Associate Editor
Annals of Surgery
Vindra Dass, MA
Senior Publisher
Annals of Surgery


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