Recent studies suggest that students' feelings of fit with a residency program substantially influence students' ranking of the program. As diversity issues become increasingly focal concerns, we investigate how perception of gender and racial diversity of a program influences students' rankings of the program. We focus on students pursuing surgical specialties and ask whether diversity concerns are more prominent among applicants to surgical programs than among applicants to nonsurgical programs.We invited all interviewees at all residency programs at the Stanford University School of Medicine to participate in our study in the spring of 2009. Nineteen residency programs, amounting to 1,657 residency interviewees, participated. Sixty-eight percent (n = 1,132) responded to the survey.Women and under-represented minority applicants differ in their assessments from male and non-under-represented minority applicants because women applying to surgical programs and under-represented minority students are less likely than others to perceive their prospective programs as diverse. However, perceived program diversity is an important factor that positively influences the program ranking decision for women and minorities pursuing surgical training.Surgical training programs that promote gender and racial diversity will likely be more successful in attracting women and minority students because women and minorities are especially sensitive to program diversity in both their perceptions and rankings of programs. Promoting women and minorities within programs and connecting women and minority applicants to outreach programs and mentors is pertinent to the recruitment of these traditionally under-represented groups to surgical programs.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2011.04.026
View details for Web of Science ID 000293843300015
View details for PubMedID 21641834