Racism in surgery is not a historical vestige; it is a current reality
In the Annals of Surgery, Dr. Zara Cooper, Kessler Director of the Center for Surgery and Public Health, and Dr. Winta Mehtsun published a commentary “An Honest Look in the Mirror – Cultivating a Culture of Equity in Surgery.” This piece presents a critical examination of not only racial health inequities but how surgical disparities research is conducted. The authors challenge the current predominately descriptive and “careful” examination of racism in disparities research and urge confronting racism as a mechanism of inequity directly. They also promote improved diversity among grant-making agencies, editorial boards, and other senior leadership positions.
The academic surgery environment must vastly transform and address structural inequity in order to achieve real progress towards eliminating racial disparities in surgical care.