Barriers and facilitators for under-represented in medicine (URiM) medical students interested in surgical sub-specialties

Academic Article


  • Background: Little is known on drivers and detractors underrepresented in medicine (URiM) medical students face. Methods: Using the nominal group technique (NGT), we explored experiences that strengthen or weaken the enthusiasm to pursue a career in surgery among URiM medical students (October 2021–April 2022); participants voted on the three most important experiences (weight of 3 = top rated, = 1 for the lowest rated). Responses from NGT with at least one vote were weighted, ranked, and categorized. Results: Seventeen students participated. Experiences that strengthen enthusiasm (36 responses with at least one vote) involved mentorship and role models (weighted sum percentage, 35%), demonstrating grit (15%), lifestyle (15%), patient interactions (14%), technical skills (11%), community and team (10%), and intellectual stimulation (1%). Experiences that weaken enthusiasm (33 responses with at least one vote) include the minority experience (weighted sum percentage, 51%), quality of life (25%), toxic environment (13%), lack of information (7%), and finances (5%). Conclusions: Mentorship, demonstrating grit, and feeling a sense of community were important positive experiences or attitudes. The minority experience, toxic environment, perceptions of self-worth, and lifestyle misconceptions perceived by URiM must be addressed to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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    Author List

  • Soto E; Lewis M; Estrada CA; de la Torre JI; O'Beirne R; Martin C; Corey B