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The Role of Inclusion in Increasing Diversity and Retention Across Surgical Residencies: a Literature Review.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Across surgical specialties, residencies are incentivized to improve program diversity, most often through recruitment of underrepresented minority (URM), women, LGBTQ, and disabled applicants. However, residency attrition remains high in these groups, highlighting the need for specific inclusion initiatives to improve retention and support for these cohorts. A better understanding of previous efforts at retention is paramount. This paper reviews the existing literature on inclusion and retention efforts in surgical residencies.

RECENT FINDINGS: A literature search was conducted using PubMed Central. Published articles were filtered based on date (2018-2023) and relevancy. Articles were evaluated holistically and focused on methods in increasing diversity and inclusion in residency retention. Through formal literature review focusing on pertinent research topic terms (i.e., inclusion, diversity, residency, surgery, retention), efforts that included inclusion initiatives, improving residency retention, and diversifying leadership were overarching themes. In recent years, there have been marked strides and improvements in encouraging resident diversity and inclusion. However, more widespread efforts with proven efficacy are needed in order to improve residency retention and to increase and maintain diversity in leadership in surgery.

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