Trends in Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Diversity Among Hand Surgery Fellows From 2007 to 2021

Aziz Shittu, Christopher J. Murdock, Henson Destine, Delano Trenchfield, Maya Moore, Amiethab Aiyer, Dawn LaPorte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: There is a paucity of research on the demographic trends of orthopedic and plastic hand surgery fellows. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the current state of racial and gender demographic trends in hand surgery fellowship from 2007 to 2021. Methods: We analyzed fellowship demographic data from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education public database from 2007–2008 through 2020–2021. The gender of hand surgery fellows was categorized as male, female, or not reported and their race/ethnicity as White, Non-Hispanic; Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic; Black, Non-Hispanic; American Indian or Alaskan Native; other; or unknown. We extracted the number of fellows per year for each category and calculated the percentage equivalents and average percentages. We performed the chi-square test for trend (Cochran-Armitage test) to identify any significant changes in the percentages of gender and race/ethnicity between 2007 and 2021. Results: There was a significant increase in the percentage of hand surgery fellows who are women (20.7% to 30.7%) and Asian or Pacific Islander (13.3% to 25.3%). There was no significant change in the percentage of Hispanic or Black, Non-Hispanic fellows. Conclusions: Although there have been some increases, hand surgery fellows continue to be underrepresented by women and minorities, consistent with the demographic of orthopedic and plastic surgery residents. There have been increasing trends in the number of women and minorities in medical schools, which leaves room for improvement from the downstream prospective applicant pool. Clinical relevance: The physician-patient relationship can potentially be strengthened by race and gender concordance; however, many minority and female hand surgery patients do not have physicians who are women or of the same ethnic background. Patient satisfaction, trust, and potential health outcomes may be improved with a physician workforce that reflects the diversity of their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Demographics
  • diversity
  • fellowship
  • hand
  • hand surgery
  • orthopedics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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