An Analysis of Diversity Statements and Support of Special Interest Societies by General Surgery Residency Programs

Jorge G. Zarate Rodriguez, Katharine E. Caldwell, Avila Soto Frances, Britta J. Han, Francesca M. Dimou, Michael Awad, Bethany C. Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize the nondiscrimination and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements found on the websites of general surgery residency programs, as well as to measure programmatic commitment to diversity through their involvement with special interest surgical societies (SISS). Design: The authors evaluated the relationship between DEI statements and SISS participation, and performed a natural language processing analysis of general surgery residency DEI statements. Setting: : The residency program websites from 319 non-military general surgery residency programs within the United States were analyzed. Participants: : This study evaluated the DEI statement and SISS participation in general surgery residency programs. Results: Of the 319 general surgery residency websites reviewed, 127 (39.8%) featured an identifiable statement of nondiscrimination or commitment to diversity. Compared to programs without diversity statements, programs with statements were more likely to be involved with special interest surgical societies (53.5% vs 30.7%, p < 0.001). Natural language processing analysis revealed that the diversity statements of programs with SISS involvement had higher word counts (p = 0.001), higher clout scores (measure of confidence conveyed, p = 0.001), and higher positive tone scores (p = 0.006) compared with the statements of those without special interest society involvement. Conclusions: In the era of virtual interviewing, applicants are forced to rely heavily on surgery residency websites as their main source of information. Less than 40% of programs participating in the Match in 2022 feature diversity statements on their websites. Programs with some degree of involvement with special interest societies were more likely to have statements that score higher in confidence and positivity in natural language processing analysis, which may potentially reflect a more earnest commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Residency programs should continue to improve the visibility of their DEI efforts to recruit a diverse resident class.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Diversity
  • equity
  • general surgery
  • inclusion
  • residency
  • websites


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