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 journalArticlepeer-review

28 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 - Nov 1 2020


  • Diversity
  • General surgery
  • Inclusion
  • Residency
  • Website

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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