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Diverse surgeons initiative effectively increases underrepresented minorities in academic surgery
Date:11/1/2010

CHICAGO (November 1, 2010) According to a report published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, a grant-funded program tailored to provide advanced minimally invasive surgery skills to young, underrepresented minority surgeons, is helping address shortages of minority faculty members at US medical institutions.

The report states that the Diverse Surgeons Initiative (DSI) has helped 86 percent of graduates in the program acquire fellowship training. These outcomes surpassed the 2005 national percentage of fifth-year residents in academic postgraduate training who secured fellowship positions by nine percent.

"Our main goal for this program was to provide qualified underrepresented minority residents with the fundamental skills that would enable them to excel in their surgical careers," stated Paris D. Butler, MD, MPH, the study's lead author and surgical resident at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville. "There are many potential factors for the shortage of minority faculty in academic medicine, including anything from an insufficient number of minority medical school graduates to a scarcity of role models. We hope that DSI can work to counteract some of those factors."

Several prominent laparoscopic surgeons created the DSI in 1998 to provide minimally invasive surgery skills to underserved populations of young practicing surgeons. The program focuses on the concepts of preparedness and mentorship in three, two-day sessions over the course of a nine-month period. The sessions include minimally invasive surgery fundamentals, a porcine surgical laboratory for simulating procedures, surgical anatomy reviews, disease pathophysiology lectures and case-based question-and-answer sessions reflecting the American Board of Surgery's In-Training Service Examination (ABSITE) format.

From 2002 to 2009, the program had 76 graduates, 42 of whom have completed all of their su
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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

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