A diversity gap exists within cardiothoracic (CT) surgery that might be addressed with currently available medical student pipeline programs. We sought to assess CT surgery residency/fellowship program directors’ (PD) awareness of and participation in underrepresented in medicine visiting medical student clerkship programs (UIM-VMSCPs). We reviewed the ACGME program finder database and medical school websites to identify thoracic surgery training programs that: (1) offer visiting student clerkships (VSCs), (2) are affiliated with an institution offering a UIM-VMSCP, (3) are at an institution where the existing UIM-VMSCP specifically offers rotations in CT surgery. The PDs in the second group were surveyed via e-mail, assessing their level of awareness of UIM-VMSCPs at their institution, participation in UIM-VMSCPs over the past 3 years, and desire to participate in a UIM-VMSCP in the future. All (n = 76) ACGME CT surgery training programs were affiliated with institutions that offered VSCs in multiple disciplines. Over half, 55.3%, of the programs offered access to visiting students and 61.8% were at institutions with existing UIM-VMSCPs. Our response rate for the 47 PDs from institutions with UIM-VMSCPs was 38.2%. Of the respondents, 61.1% were aware of the UIM-VMSCP at their institution and 44.4% participated in the past 3 years. Most, 88.9% were interested in participating in their institution's UIM-VMSCP in the future. Only half of CT surgery training programs offer VSCs and even fewer are at institutions with an existing UIM-VMSCP that offers a CT surgery clerkship. This is a lost opportunity to broaden exposure to the specialty and increase diversity within the CT surgery workforce.
- Cardiothoracic surgery
- Visiting medical student clerkships
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine