Do General Surgery Residency Program Websites Feature Diversity?

Anna Maria Del Sol Driesen, Minerva A Romero Arenas, Tania K Arora, Andrew Tang, Valentine N Nfonsam, Catherine L O'Grady, Taylor S Riall, Lilah F Morris-Wiseman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This study assesses ways in which General Surgery residency program websites demonstrate diversity.

DESIGN: Literature review and diversity expert opinion informed selection of diversity elements. We limited our evaluation to residency program-specific webpages. We identified 8 program website elements that demonstrate programmatic commitment to diversity: (1) standard nondiscrimination statement; (2) program-specific diversity and inclusion message; (3) community demographics; (4) personalized biographies of faculty, (5) personalized biographies of residents; (6) individual photographs of faculty; (7) individual photographs of residents; and (8) list of additional resources available for trainees. We evaluated the impact of program type (university, independent, or military); city population; region; program director gender and ethnicity; and program size on incorporation of these eight elements. We dichotomized programs that had ≥4 of these elements on their website and determined association with the above factors using chi-square or Fisher's exact test.

SETTING: Website review July to December 2019.

PARTICIPANTS: All nonmilitary-based general surgery residency program members of the Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) (n = 242/251).

RESULTS: General Surgery residency program websites included a mean of 2.7 ± 1.5 elements that showcase diversity. Most program websites (n = 215, 89%) featured ≤4 elements (range 1-4), while 15 (6.2%) had none. When stratified by programs having 4 or more elements on their website, university-based program (p < 0.001) was the only factor associated. Resident photos (n = 147, 61%), resources available to trainees (n = 146, 60%), faculty photos (n = 139, 57%), and community demographics (n = 93, 38%) were the most common of the 8 website elements.

CONCLUSIONS: Residency program websites are vital to recruiting applicants. Featuring specific elements on the General Surgery residency website that display a program's commitment to diversity and inclusion may be important in attracting a diverse candidate pool. This research highlights opportunities programs may use to demonstrate more effectively a residency program's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e110-e115
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Career Choice
  • General Surgery/education
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency


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