Objective: Assessing workforce diversity over time is essential to understanding how it has evolved and anticipating its future. We conducted the current study to evaluate gender, racial/ethnic, and duty trends over the past decade in general surgery and surgical subspecialties. Design: This is a cross-sectional study. We calculated ratios and relative changes to assess potential differences of physicians’ characteristics across time and surgical subspecialties. Setting: We evaluated data acquired by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Participants: We extracted data from the 2000 to 2013 including the overall number of surgeons, surgeon race/ethnicity, gender, and primary professional activity. Results: During 2000 to 2013, the total number of surgeons increased 11.5%, reaching 172,062 active surgeons and residents, the majority of whom were White (64%) or male (75%). However, from 2000 to 2013, most specialties showed some improvement in terms of including minorities and females. Most surgeons (98%) participate in patient care while a small portion are devoted to other activities (e.g., administrative, research, teaching; 2%). Both groups increased over the study period. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the face of surgery is changing. Continuous monitoring of the surgical workforce is important to anticipate future needs and to serve a diverse patient population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas