Increasing Diversity in Surgery

A look at surgeon diversity at CHOP, and plans to increase underrepresented voices moving forward

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Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has built the premier pediatric surgical department in the world. Since 1865, CHOP has been home to countless breakthroughs and dramatic firsts in pediatric medicine. Today, CHOP is addressing an ever-increasing need: to diversify its surgical staff to better reflect the population it serves.

“Studies have shown us that having a diverse and inclusive workforce helps organizations thrive,” says Madeline Bell, the hospital’s President and CEO. “Diverse teams tend to be more innovative than homogenous teams. By engaging colleagues of diverse backgrounds, we can better meet the needs of our patients, families and employees.”

“It’s important we create more opportunities for underrepresented surgeons to follow their dreams and get the support they need,” says Lawrence Wells, MD, Associate Director of the Sports Medicine and Performance Center and an orthopaedic surgeon. “There are many opportunities to expand diversity and inclusion at CHOP and I’m happy to support this work.”

How we’re working to increase diversity in surgery at CHOP

CHOP leaders recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as core values. Some ways we are working to increase diversity in surgical staff includes:

  • Recruitment through mentoring opportunities and partnerships with minority student and surgical groups.
  • Systemic support systems to help new surgeons.
  • Educational support to help surgical residents and fellows develop self-directed learning skills they will need throughout their careers.
  • Building and maintaining mentor and sponsor relationships beyond residency/fellowship.
  • Fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diverse experiences and perspectives.

Personal stories from CHOP surgeons

Read personal stories from minority surgical leaders at CHOP who have overcome barriers to pursue their careers, found mentors along the way, and are committed to supporting other underrepresented minorities.

Juliana Sanchez Gebb, MD Juliana Sanchez Gebb, MD
Attending Obstetrician
Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment
Read Dr. Gebb’s interview

Lawrence Wells, MD Lawrence Wells, MD
Associate Director
Sports Medicine and Performance Center
Attending Surgeon
Read Dr. Wells’ interview

Karen Zur, MD Karen B. Zur, MD
Chief, Division of Otolaryngology
Director, Pediatric Voice Program
Associate Director, Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders
Read Dr. Zur’s interview