Diversity within health care organizations has many proven benefits, yet women and other groups remain underrepresented in cardiothoracic surgery. We sought to explore responses from a Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) survey to identify myths and barriers for informing organizational strategies in the STS and cardiothoracic surgery. We performed a qualitative review of narrative survey responses within three domains surrounding diversity in cardiothoracic surgery: myths, barriers, and strategies for improvement. Common diversity myths included diversity as a pipeline problem (24%), diversity equated to exclusivity (21%), and diversity not supporting meritocracy (18%). The most frequent barrier code was perceived prejudice (22%). Suggested strategies toward improvement were culture change prioritizing diversity (22%) and training the leaders (14%). Notably, 15% of response codes reflected the belief that disparities do not exist; thus, the issue should not be prioritized by the organization. The results do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of most of the STS membership; nonetheless, they provide important insight critical to guide any efforts toward eliminating disparities within cardiothoracic surgery and improving the care of our patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine