American ophthalmology residency programs rank last in terms of diversity

American ophthalmology residency programs rank last in terms of diversity

College of California, Davis Well being Research1 When it comes to the racial and ethnic composition of US residency packages, ophthalmology packages are discovered to be final in recruiting underrepresented minority teams in comparison with different specialties.

Parisa Emami-Naeini, MD, MPH, senior examine creator. Emami-Naeini is an assistant professor at UC Davis Division of Ophthalmology and Imaginative and prescient Sciences.

“Our examine reveals that the sphere of ophthalmology doesn’t replicate the variety of our nation,” Emami Naeini stated within the assertion.

Underrepresented minority teams are outlined as racial and ethnic teams within the medical subject which might be underrepresented in relation to their numbers within the basic inhabitants.

In line with the examine, underrepresented minorities made up about 19% of medical college college students however solely 6.3% of ophthalmology residency packages. Nationally, underrepresented minorities make up solely 7.2% of practising ophthalmologists in the US.


In line with the college, the researchers used a . file data resource book posted by Accreditation Council for Higher Medical Education. They obtained demographic knowledge on residents in coaching throughout 18 completely different majors in accredited US residency packages between 2011-2012 and 2019-2020.

The staff in contrast minority teams underrepresented in ophthalmology with these in different specialties and estimated the change within the proportion of underrepresented minorities over time.

Ophthalmology ranked lowest for the minority inhabitants. Public well being, preventive medication, and obstetrics and gynecology recorded the best proportion of underrepresented minority teams.

The researchers observe that complicating elements contribute to the disparities amongst resident ophthalmologists. previous search confirmed that curiosity in ophthalmology was low amongst all medical college students and even decrease amongst college students of underrepresented minority teams.

Emami Naini notes that the majority medical college students don’t find out about ophthalmology till the third or fourth 12 months of faculty, once they have already made up their minds about one other specialty. Different elements that will play a task embrace particular person expertise, implicit bias amongst resolution makers within the subject, and the dearth of numerous racial function fashions.

Abhijith Atkuru, third 12 months medical scholar in Eastern Virginia Medical School, is the primary creator of the examine. He labored with Emami-Naeini as a recipient of J. William Kohl Scholarship, MD for Medical Studentswhich awards an award to medical college students to review with ophthalmologists on the College of California, Davis College of Drugs.

“Whereas researching this mission, I used to be in a position to establish and establish disparities within the subject of ophthalmology and the pressing have to take motion to deal with them,” Atkuru stated in a press launch. “I’m eager about ophthalmology. Taking part within the Kohl summer time program and dealing on varied tasks has boosted my curiosity on this subject.”

Small however regular improve in range

Knowledge from the examine reveals a really small, however regular 0.24% annual improve in employment of minority residents in ophthalmology between 2011 and 2012 and 2019 to 2020. The researchers observe that as a result of racial and ethnic disparities in ophthalmology and medication are as a result of many elements An equally multifaceted strategy will probably be wanted to deal with these points.

They suggest synergy and collaboration between medical faculties, massive decision-making organizations, and subspecialty associations to recruit extra numerous interns.

Emami Nayni participates in American Academy of Ophthalmology Education of ophthalmology and ophthalmology The pipeline program, which assists medical college students in underrepresented minority teams to turn out to be aggressive candidates for residency in ophthalmology.

We all know illustration is vital. Seeing a physician who seems such as you or speaks your language can enhance well being outcomes and cut back the burden on sufferers. We hope to have the ability to appeal to the curiosity of an increasing number of numerous college students within the subject of ophthalmology.”


1. Abhijith Atkuru, MS; Monica Ok. Ling, Ph.D.; Parisa Emami-Naeini, MD, MPH; Traits in racial range amongst ophthalmological residents in the US. ophthalmology. Posted August. 957-959. DOI: 10.1016 / j.ophtha.2022.03.020

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