Transplant surgery departmental leaders do not represent workforce demographics especially among women and underrepresented minorities – A retrospective analysis

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Am J Surg. 2021 Nov 14:S0002-9610(21)00667-X. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2021.11.008. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The diversity among surgical directors for liver, kidney, and pancreas transplant departments has not been previously evaluated. We aim to quantify the sex and racial demographics of transplant department leaders and assess the impact on patient outcomes.

METHODS: Demographics were collected for 116 liver, 192 kidney, and 113 pancreas transplant directors using Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) directory and program websites. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) 5-tier program outcomes rankings were obtained for each program and matched to leader demographics. A retrospective analysis of transplant recipients from 2010 to 2019 was performed using the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database.

RESULTS: 91.5% of transplant surgical directors were male. 55% of departments had a Non-Hispanic White leader. Asian, Hispanic and Black transplant chiefs were at the helm of 23.3%, 9%, and 5% of divisions respectively. Multivariate cox regression analysis did not identify any differences in patient outcomes by transplant director demographics.

CONCLUSION: There is a paucity of female and URM leaders in transplant surgery. Initiatives to promote research, mentorship, and career advancement opportunities for women and URM are necessary to address the current leadership disparity.

PMID:34802691 | DOI:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2021.11.008