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Title: "The odds were stacked against me": A qualitative study of underrepresented minorities in surgical training.
Authors: Villanueva, Claudia
Cain, Justin
Greenhill, Jennene
Nestel, Debra
Citation: © 2021 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
ANZ J Surg. 2021 Sep 3. doi: 10.1111/ans.17168.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is expected to provide surgical care to a diverse patient population across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). To improve the quality-of-care individuals receive, the surgical workforce must reflect the population it serves. Achieving diversity within RACS will strengthen therapeutic relationships with patients and promote an inclusive culture. This study investigates the perspectives of underrepresented minority (URM) trainees to highlight barriers for the selection and completion of the RACS Surgical Education and Training (SET) program. METHODS: This qualitative study used online, semi-structured, in-depth interviews of URM trainees. Participants were recruited by self-identification and were invited to participate based on inclusion criterion. Interviews took place between August and October 2020, were transcribed and de-identified. Framework analysis was used to identify themes. FINDINGS: Eight participants from four surgical specialities were interviewed, six from Australia and two from New Zealand. There were six female and two male participants. The findings identified barriers that were grouped into eight broad areas: discouragement; structural racism, discrimination and unconscious bias; language barriers; policies and procedures; lack of role models; homophobia; sexual harassment and women in surgery. CONCLUSION: The findings offer guidance to RACS and the surgical community to explore new strategies to improve the experience of URM SET trainees. While on a small scale, the study draws directly on the URMs' experiences to inform strategies addressing equity, diversity and inclusion. The aim is to produce a diverse surgical workforce that better delivers healthcare services to a diverse population.
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Journal title: ANZ journal of surgery
Publication Date: 2021-09-03
Type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1111/ans.17168
Orcid: 0000-0002-3177-862X
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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