Background: Diversity within the medical workforce remains a topic of discussion in academia, particularly when it comes to the underrepresentation of certain ethnic groups and gender in the surgical specialties. In this article, we look at how the gender and ethnicity of surgeons at a large academic institution in a rural setting compare with those of the population it serves. Methods: We looked at demographic data from 2008 to 2018 and compared population trends among surgeons and patients. Results: We found that while whites represent the large majority in both the surgeon and patient populations, absolute number and percentage of whites in the patient population seem to be trending downward from 2008 to 2018, but trending upward among surgeons (attendings and residents). In addition, we found that while Asians make up only 1% of the patient population, they represent the second largest group (17%) among surgeons, with more than twice the proportion percentage of the second largest group within the patient population, composed of Hispanics (6%). Finally, we found a significant gender difference between the 2 populations with almost two-thirds of the surgeons being men, compared with the nearly even split of men and women within the patient population. Conclusions: Ultimately, understanding how gender and ethnic diversity in the surgical workforce compares with that of the patient population being served may aid in designing training programs to address cultural competency and awareness as well as in impacting administrative decisions and hiring.
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