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Cover Focus | Sept/Oct '22

Trends in The Diversity of Ophthalmology Residents and Residency Applicants

In a recent analysis conducted by Aguwa et al,1 demographic data from all residency programs across all specialties were extracted from Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education yearly reports from 2011 to 2019. Data from 2016 to 2019 on ophthalmology match applicants were analyzed using the 2020 Ophthalmology Residency Match Summary Report and the 2020 Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Residency Gender & Ethnicity Summary. The investigators drew the following conclusions.

From 2011 to 2019, the raw percentage of underrepresented in medicine (URiM) ophthalmology residents increased from 4.7% to 5.8%, whereas that of surgical specialties decreased from 9.9% to 9.1%.

The percentage of URiM ophthalmology match applicants increased from 5.9% of all applicants to 11.8% of all applicants from 2016 to 2019.

The percentage of URiMs matching into ophthalmology increased from 4.9% of all participants to 10.8% of all participants from 2016 to 2019.

The study authors concluded that, “Although there has been a positive trend in the percentage of URiMs applying and matching into ophthalmology, a lack of racial and ethnic diversity relative to other specialties persists. Strategies are needed to increase diversity in the field.”

1. Aguwa UT, Srikumaran D, Canner J, et al. Trends in racial and ethnic diversity of ophthalmology residents and residency applicants. Am J Ophthalmol. 2022;240:P260-264.