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Research Letter
June 2016

US Surgeons’ Perceptions of Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health CareA Cross-sectional Study

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Center for Surgery and Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Surgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, The Kennedy Krieger Institute, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 4Division of Trauma, Burns, and Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(6):582-584. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.4901

Across the field of surgery, racial/ethnic minorities present with higher incidence and prevalence of surgical disease and worse postoperative outcomes.14 Even after adjusting for contributing factors, such as socioeconomic and insurance status, differences persist in the receipt and outcomes of care.14 Research suggests that racial/ethnic disparities in surgical care stem from a complex interplay of patient, provider, and systematic factors.1 As health care professionals, surgeons play a key role in patients’ outcomes. Surgeons’ lack of awareness of racial/ethnic disparities in surgical care may impede actions to alleviate gaps in care. The objective of this pilot study was to assess current US surgeons’ awareness of racial/ethnic disparities in surgical outcomes and processes of surgical care.

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