Spine surgeon diversity isn't getting better


Orthopedic spine surgery is dominated by white males, and that won't change any time soon, according to a study published in the journal Spine.

Despite efforts to bring diversity into the field, little has changed and the demographics of spine surgeon fellows are overwhelmingly male. Study authors examined demographic data from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and calculated diversity statistics.

Study authors found no significant movement toward a more diverse pool of spine fellows, with white, non-Hispanic males continuing to represent the largest percentage of surgeons in training. Four key points:

1. Males made up 81% to 95% of the fellows.
2. Whites were 28% to 66% of the fellows.
3. Asians accounted for 9% to 28% of the fellows.
4. Blacks comprised 3% to 16% of the fellows.
5. Hispanics made up 0% to 10% of the fellows.

"Orthopedic spine surgery fellowship programs have not made substantial progress in diversifying its population," study authors concluded. "More attention is needed to increase diversity in residency programs through pipeline programs, increased mentorship and sponsorship, and early exposure to the field."

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