Diversity in the American Society of Anesthesiologists Leadership

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Women and minorities are underrepresented in US academic medicine. The Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce emphasized the importance of diverse leadership for reducing health care disparities. The objective of this study was to evaluate the demographics of the American Society of Anesthesiologists leadership. We hypothesized that the percentage of women and underrepresented minorities is less than that of their respective proportions in the general physician workforce.

METHODS:

An electronic survey was developed by the authors and mailed to 595 members of the American Society of Anesthesiologists leadership who had valid email addresses, including the members of the 2014 House of Delegates and state society leaders who were not the members of the House of Delegates. Univariate statistics were used to characterize survey responses and the probability distributions were estimated using the binomial distribution. A one-sample t test was used to compare the percentage of women and minorities in the survey pool to that of the corresponding percentages in the general physician workforce (38.0% women and 8.9% minorities), and the US population (51.0% women and 32.0% minorities).

RESULTS:

The survey response rate was 54%. A total of 21.1% (95% confidence interval: 16.4%–25.7%) of respondents were women and 6.0% (95% confidence interval: 3.3%–8.7%) were minorities. The proportion of women in the American Society of Anesthesiologist leadership was lower than the general medical workforce and the US population (P < .001 for both); the proportion of underrepresented minorities was lower than the US population (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Women and minorities are underrepresented in the leadership of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Efforts should be made to increase the diversity of the American Society of Anesthesiologists leadership with the goal of reducing overall anesthesia workforce disparities.

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