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Comment & Response
March 18, 2020

Meeting the Educational Needs of an Increasingly Diverse Surgical Workforce

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, Harlingen
JAMA Surg. 2020;155(6):533. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.0096

To the Editor Yeo et al1 evaluated factors associated with American Board of Surgery (ABS) examination pass rates in a cohort of categorical surgical residents from the internship (2007) to eligibility/certification. They found that first-time ABS pass rate was associated with nonmodifiable factors, such as nonwhite race/ethnicity, sex (women), and having children.1 Additionally, Hispanic residents were less likely to attempt the ABS examinations at all. We must place these findings in the context of diversity in surgery, or rather, the lack thereof. The cohort included only 55 Hispanic residents, most of whom did pass the ABS examinations (n = 43; 81.1%). There was no difference in pass rates for the qualifying examination for Hispanic and nonwhite candidates; however, the marked difference in failing the ABS certifying examination may reflect implicit bias in the process.

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