The Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) is committed to developing, mentoring and promoting young surgeon-scientists of differing race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin or any other characteristic for which prejudice exists. The AAS proudly celebrates these differences and thrives on inclusive excellence. We believe that diversity in experience and thought is necessary to accomplish the critical changes needed in the field of academic surgery to adequately serve our communities and achieve health equity. Despite the rapidly changing ethnic and racial demographics of the United States, lack of diversity within the physician workforce – and particularly in academic surgery – remains a significant public health concern. The AAS openly confronts these challenges through meaningful mentorship, sponsorship and promotion of academic surgeons from underrepresented backgrounds.
The AAS stands committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in all our national and international collaborations. We believe these principles are the cornerstone of academic and scientific advancement within surgery and more broadly in American society. For AAS, a commitment to diversity means the following:
- We will foster and maintain a safe environment of respect and inclusion for faculty, staff, trainees and students
- We will develop programs and make organizational decisions that are informed by and responsive to the priorities of the diverse communities of which we are a part of and which we serve.
- We will maintain a membership, staff and board that is diverse. We will intentionally strive to improve the diversity of the organization’s leadership. Our broad definition of diversity will include race, ethnicity, nationality, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, academic differentiation and institutional representation.
- We will develop safe and effective ways for concerns related to diversity to be shared and addressed.
- We will maintain a diversity action plan that is regularly assessed, reported and revamped as needed to meet the growing needs of our organization and the communities we serve.
- We will integrate the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in all programs, courses and scientific conferences supported by the AAS.
- We will address disparities in academic surgical leadership, faculty retention and faculty promotion for groups underrepresented in surgery and/or surgical leadership.