Perception of Racial and Intersectional Discrimination in the Workplace Is High Among Black Orthopaedic Surgeons: Results of a Survey of 274 Black Orthopaedic Surgeons in Practice

Gabriella E. Ode, Jaysson T. Brooks, Kellie K. Middleton, Eric W. Carson, Scott E. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: There are approximately 573 practicing Black orthopaedic surgeons in the United States, which represents 1.9% overall. The purpose of this study was to describe this underrepresented cohort within the field of orthopaedic surgery and to report their perception of occupational opportunity and workplace discrimination. METHODS: An anonymous survey was administered to 455 practicing orthopaedic surgeons who self-identify as Black. The 38-question electronic survey requested demographic and practice information and solicited perspectives on race and racial discrimination in current orthopaedic practices and general views regarding occupational opportunity and discrimination. RESULTS: The survey was completed by 274 Black orthopaedic surgeons (60%). Over 97% of respondents believe that Black orthopaedic surgeons in the United States face workplace discrimination. Most Black orthopaedic surgeons (94%) agreed that racial discrimination in the workplace is a problem but less than 20% agreed that the leaders of national orthopaedic organizations are trying sincerely to end it. Black female orthopaedic surgeons reported lower occupational opportunity and higher discrimination than Black male orthopaedic surgeons across all survey items. DISCUSSION: This study is the first to report on the workplace environment and the extent of discrimination experienced by Black surgeons, specifically Black orthopaedic surgeons in the United States. Most respondents, particularly female respondents, agreed that racial discrimination and diminished occupational opportunity are pervasive in the workplace and reported experiencing various racial microaggressions in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-18
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

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