SAVS 2022: ‘Recruiting more women without knowing race/ethnicity of those women only tells part of story’

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SAVS 2022 poster presentation

Failure to stratify gender by race or ethnicity, or vice versa, leads to missed opportunities in the recruitment of underrepresented members from the potential vascular surgery trainee pool.

That was one of the examples delivered in a poster presentation at the 2022 Southern Association for Vascular Surgery (SAVS) annual meeting in Manalapan, Florida (Jan. 19–22) that delved into the intersection of race and sex, which the authors called out as an overlooked dimension of diversity recruitment.

Among integrated vascular surgery residents in the U.S. and Canada in 2020, 63.2% identified as male, 53.9% as white, 7% Hispanic, 5.8% Black, 1.5% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.3% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, according to a research team that included first author Lauren N. West Livingston, PhD, and senior investigator Gabriela A. Velazquez, MD, of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Similarly, the analysis found that among vascular surgery fellows, 67.2% were male, 59.5% were white, 6.6% Hispanic, 3.5% Black, 0.4% American Indian or Alaska native, and 0.4% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Livingston and colleagues used data drawn from the Association of American Medical Colleges, compared with data on the sex/gender and race/ethnicity of practicing vascular surgeons.

The researchers said the analysis demonstrated that minorities continued to be underrepresented in medicine, but that the data were limited by training paradigm. Furthermore, they did not examine results with an “intersectional lens,” the team conceded. Analyzing the data in this way, they concluded, would have allowed further stratification of the figures by combination of race and gender, or the subgroups within certain racial/ethnic identities.

“For example, recruiting more women without knowing the race/ethnicity of those women only tells part of the story,” the investigators added.

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