Evolution of Workforce Diversity in Surgery

Charalampos Siotos, Rachael M. Payne, Jill P. Stone, David Cui, Kalliopi Siotou, Kristen P. Broderick, Gedge D. Rosson, Carisa M. Cooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1021
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Professionalism
  • diversity
  • education
  • surgery
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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