Strategies to Increase Diversity in Surgical Residency

Paula C. Costa, Aimee K. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Residency programs are now more than ever attuned to the need to create a more diverse surgical workforce and combat the structural barriers that may prevent entry and retention of trainees from diverse backgrounds. The following provides several evidence-based strategies programs can implement to achieve their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Recent Findings: Strategies to increase diversity span the recruitment, selection, and ongoing support phases of the trainee lifecycle. Ensuring sufficient and accurate information on program websites and strategic recruitment strategies with schools graduating high percentages of underrepresented minorities can help ensure programs receive applications from a diverse cohort. De-emphasizing reliance on traditional selection strategies and tools known to promote inequity will also ensure that all applicants have an equal opportunity to enter the program. Finally, ongoing support mechanisms, such as fair and transparent data monitoring, mentoring, and continued education can ensure that the program provides an environment for all to thrive. Summary: Programs seeking to enhance the diversity of their residency programs must consider their practices and policies from a recruitment, selection, and ongoing support standpoint. Unfortunately, there are no “quick fixes.” Creating a thriving culture for diversity, equity, and inclusion requires intentional focus and allotment of time and resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
JournalCurrent Surgery Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Fit
  • Inclusion
  • Recruitment
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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