Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD, chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, runs one of the country’s largest and most diverse residency programs. He’s one of the leaders making the positive changes that lead to more diversity in the field.
As Dr. Zuckerman told STAT, keys to the program’s success are numbers, money, and a commitment to diversity not only from the top, but from those at all levels of the program.
First, he says, programs need to have trainees and faculty of color in order to attract other trainees from the same groups. “If you’re African American and you don’t see any African American faculty or residents, is that where you want to train?” he asks.
To attract a diverse group of trainees, he told STAT, programs must demonstrate that diversity is important. For 15 years, he says, NYU Langone has regularly sent Black orthopedics faculty members to demonstrate sawing bones and simulated knee replacements at meetings of the Student National Medical Association, an organization for medical students from underrepresented groups. NYU Langone picked up the tab for doing so after the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons cut the program from its budget, he says. His program also reserves several spots in its summer externship program for medical students from underrepresented communities; many later apply to be residents.
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