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J Natl Med Assoc. 1999 Sep;91(9):509-12.

A survey of the ethnic and racial distribution in orthopedic residency programs in the United States.

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  • 1Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC 20060, USA.


This study examined the racial and ethnic composition of orthopedic training programs in the United States. A questionnaire was mailed in January 1995 to chairpersons at 159 orthopedic programs in the United States. Eighty-nine (56%) responses were received. The distribution of orthopedic residents and fellows was as follows: white non-Hispanic, 84.2%; Asian, 6.6%; African American, 3.6%; Native American, 2.2%; Puerto Rican, 1.2%; Mexican American, 0.8%; and other Hispanic, 1%. African Americans and Hispanics were under-represented in orthopedic training programs compared with their numbers in the general population. The percentage of residents in these two minority groups also were below goals established by the Council on Graduate Medical Education and the US Government's Healthy People 2000 report. In contrast, Native Americans and Asians were overrepresented. If racial balance is to be achieved in orthopedics, new incentives must be created to encourage more African Americans and Hispanics to enter orthopedic residency training programs.

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