RCSEd Black Surgeons in the UK report

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26 Sep 2022

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh have published a new report into the under-representation of Black surgeons. Professor Michael Griffin OBE, RCSEd President, says: 

As part of our ongoing work to improve the surgical workforce and workplace, I am delighted to announce the publication today of a new RCSEd report into the under-representation of Black surgeons.

Whilst 46% of NHS medical staff come from a non-white ethnic background, medicine, only a small number of Black students enter medical school and go on to develop careers as medical professionals.

In terms of surgery, NHS data shows that of the 25,175 doctors in surgical specialities, there are fewer than 900 Black surgeons working in NHS England. There are also only 190 Black surgical consultants.

The reasons for this absence of Black medical professions are complex and manifold, reflecting a range of long standing socioeconomic, cultural, political, and historic factors. Official figures also overlook significant disparities within the Black community, between those from Black African as opposed to Black Caribbean backgrounds.

We therefore have a responsibility to work collectively and collaboratively across medicine and healthcare to understand and address the barriers preventing greater Black representation.

Whilst this report does not claim to offer solutions to how this entrenched under-representation may be resolved, an important first step as a professional, representative body is to recognise the role that we can play in encouraging a collaborative and target driven approach that delivers a more diverse surgical body.

For this end, we are committed to work with all interested parties who share our concern with this important situation.

Read the full report here:

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