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January 5, 2022

LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in Surgery—A Call to Action

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville
JAMA Surg. 2022;157(4):288-290. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.6777

“What questions do you have about our program?” I heard many iterations of this question throughout my residency interview season. There was always a list of safe questions I would ask: Where do the residents live? Is it safe to run or bike here? Where were the chiefs going for fellowship? One question I forced myself to ask every time, only during resident-to-resident interviews, never with faculty. The question would linger on the tip of my tongue as I weighed the pros and cons of asking. Clearing my throat I would say, “So what is the culture like here in terms of the LGBTQ+ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and other] community?” A new version of this question fell out of my mouth awkwardly every time. More times than not, I received a welcoming answer, though one stuck with me more than the rest. Two chief residents looked at each other puzzled, then back at me before announcing, “There isn’t anyone who is gay here.” I did not rank that program.

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