Following the killing of George Floyd, the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons, as a leader in surgery in the United States, recognized its responsibility to address the issue of structural racism within the American College of Surgeons and within the profession of surgery. A task force was appointed to evaluate these factors as a result.
The task force was chaired by J. Wayne Meredith, MD, FACS, MCCM, American College of Surgeons President 2020–2021, and populated by members who are committed to the issue of eliminating racism, who are senior leaders of the American College of Surgeons that have a strong understanding of its operations, and who are influential and empowered to make changes.
We concluded that current national attention provides an opportunity to potentially make great progress on the issue of structural racism in the American College of Surgeons and in the profession of surgery. As such, our recommendations are focused on antiracism and helping our own professional organization and our surgeons approach issues of race with excellence, skill and fidelity.
In the report, we identify Five Focus Areas of Progress, which include:
- Just & Inclusive Environment
- Cultural Competency
- Diversity in the Workforce
- Public Health Research
- Advocacy & Legislative Reform
The report from the Anti-Racism Task Force can be accessed here. The Anti-Racism Task Force recommendations were enthusiastically endorsed by the American College of Surgeons Board of Regents, and the Board of Regents appointed a Regental Committee to expeditiously carry them out.
All our recommendations are important; some can be completed quickly, some in an intermediate phase, and some will take years to accomplish. Over the next few months, the Regental Committee will communicate progress in implementing the Anti-Racism Task Force recommendations and share periodic updates on activities.
J. Wayne Meredith, MD, FACS, MCCM
President, American College of Surgeons
Chair, Anti-Racism Task Force
L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS
Chair, Board of Regents, American College of Surgeons
Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, FACS
Regent, Board of Regents, American College of Surgeons
Chair, Anti-Racism Committee
David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS
Executive Director, American College of Surgeons