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Current Trends in Sex, Race, and Ethnic Diversity in Orthopaedic Surgery Residency

Poon, Selina MD, MPH; Kiridly, Daniel MD; Mutawakkil, Muhammad MD; Wendolowski, Stephen BS; Gecelter, Rachel MS; Kline, Myriam PhD; Lane, Lewis B. MD

JAAOS - Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: August 15, 2019 - Volume 27 - Issue 16 - p e725–e733
doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-18-00131
Research Article

Background: The representation of minorities among medical students has increased over the past two decades, but diversity among orthopaedic residents lags behind. This phenomenon has occurred despite a recent focus by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons on the recruitment of minorities and women.

Objective: To analyze the impact of recent efforts on diversity in orthopaedic residents in comparison with other surgical specialties from 2006 to 2015.

Methods: Data from the American Association of Medical Colleges on residents in surgical specialty programs in the years 2006 to 2015 were analyzed. Linear regression models were used to estimate trends in diversity among orthopaedic residents and residents in other surgical specialties. A mixed model analysis of variance was used to compare rates of diversification among different specialties over time.

Results: Female representation in orthopaedic programs increased from 10.9% to 14.4% between 2006 and 2015. However, the rate of increase was significantly lower compared with other specialties (all P < 0.05) studied, except for urology (P = 0.64). Minority representation in orthopaedics averaged 25.6% over the 10-year period. Residents of Hispanic origin in orthopaedic programs increased (P = 0.0003) but decreased for Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (P < 0.0001). During the same period, white representation increased (P = 0.004). No significant changes were found in African Americans or Asian American representation. Diversity decreased among orthopaedic residents over the period studied (P = 0.004).

Conclusions: Recruitment efforts have not reversed the sex, racial, and ethnic disparities in orthopaedic residents. Orthopaedics has the lowest representation of women and minorities among residencies studied. The rate of increase in women lags behind all surgical subspecialties, except for urology.

From Shriners for Children Medical Center, Pasadena, CA (Dr. Poon), LIJ Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY (Dr. Kiridly, Dr. Lane), Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, NY ( Dr. Lane, Dr. Mutawakkil), Cohen Childrens Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY (Mr. Wendoloski, Ms. Gecelter), Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhassett, NY (Dr. Kline).

Correspondence to Dr. Poon: spoon@shrinenet.org

Dr. Poon or an immediate family member is a member of a speakers' bureau or has made paid presentations on behalf of and has received research or institutional support from NuVasive. Dr. Kline or an immediate family member has stock or stock options held in GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Amgen, Roche, and Procter & Gamble. Dr. Lane or an immediate family member serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the American Orthopaedic Association and American Society for Surgery of the Hand. None of the following authors or any immediate family member has received anything of value from or has stock or stock options held in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Kiridly, Mutawakkil, Wendolowski, and Gecelter.

© 2019 by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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