Rhea Liang

Principal supervisor

Professor Debra Nestel (Department of Surgery)

Associate supervisor

Professor Robyn Woodward-Kron (Department of Medical Education)

Project title

Intersectionality and the development of the surgical identity.

Abstract / overview of project

Surgery is one of the least diverse specialties in medicine. Inequalities in representation across multiple characteristics such as gender, race, social background, and sexual orientation persist, despite increased diversity of graduating medical students and a lack of overt systematic barriers to the progression of persons with specific characteristics into surgical training. Literature so far tends to focus on easily measurable characteristics such as gender, where factors such as lack of role models and discriminatory behaviours discourage women from pursuing a surgical career. This project aims to take a broader view across the range of intersectional characteristics to find out what factors act for different characteristics, and how these factors interact, with the aim of designing effective actions that will improve diversity across the surgical workforce.