American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes


The mission of the Committee on Diversity Issues is to study the educational and professional needs of underrepresented surgeons and surgical trainees and the impact that its work may have on the elimination of health disparities among diverse population groups. To this end, the Committee seeks recognition and support from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) through the College’s mission policies and programs.

ACS Statement on Diversity

The American College of Surgeons actively promotes full participation in College activities by all surgeons. The College upholds the highest standards of leadership in our profession with its strong commitment to multiculturalism and equal opportunity, respecting and nurturing the diversity of its membership. It recognizes that specific recruitment and development of Fellows from diverse and under-represented groups is essential to enhancing the strength of the College. The College underscores this commitment to diversity by ensuring that meaningful positions of leadership are held by Fellows from all constituent groups. Nominations for leadership positions should be based on individual qualifications, expertise, and ability to contribute. The College and its Chapters shall acknowledge diversity and inclusion by developing measures of progress in mentoring leaders of different backgrounds in all its activities.

Why Is Diversity Important?

America is changing to become more diverse.  In addition, US minorities are disproportionately affected by health care disparities.  Increasing diversity in the health care professionals leads to improvements including:

  • Better access to care for the underserved1
  • Better quality of care and learning environment that increase creativity and innovation for all students1
  • Diversity more likely to lead to novel questions in research
  • More inclusive and broad reaching solutions
  • Higher business performance outcome measures

Diversity alone though is not enough and inclusion is essential going forward.  Inclusivity is when the whole community including students, faculty, clinical and non-clinical staff and patients feel welcome and valued both as individuals and as members of the groups with which they identify.

  • “The new era of leadership must embrace inclusion as a core competence in its effort to deliver high quality patient care, to remain competitive in research and to optimize the education of the next generation of health care professionals.”2
  •  Inclusion as a core competency of professionalism in the twenty-first century3


  • Leads to quality care which is recognized by patients
  • Leads to individuals feeling valued potentially leading to decreased burnout and allows for workforce talent development

The Committee is committed to furthering these goals for our workforce and meeting the needs of our patients with goals of access to, and excellence in, care. The goals of the committee are:

  • Keeping diversity and inclusion represented in all areas of the American College of Surgeons.
  • Engaging our constituents to make sure their needs are addressed within the workforce, education and clinical care.
  • Highlight best practices in surgery addressing workforce diversity, inclusivity and health care disparities
  • Provide data and metrics to guide the efforts on diversity and inclusion for the ACS
  • Collaborate with other areas within the ACS both nationally and regionally to support these efforts at all levels

Diversity Community

The ACS Communities allows you to connect, engage, and share information with your fellow members. You can share best practices, ask advice, and share your experiences. Check out the latest discussions in your community!



Visit our Meet Our Members Page to learn more about the Committee on Diversity Issues members.

ACS Staff

Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA FACS
Bradley Elliott, CAE
Jenny Mohan, MS

The Committee on Diversity Issues welcomes your input. Please email your comments to Jenny Mohan at

1AAMC, Policy and priorities to improve our nation’s health: diversity and inclusion

2Mark Nivet, Diversity 3.0

3The Pharos, Autumn 2015, Eve Higginbotham, SM, MD