Representation Matters: Recruitment and Retention of URM to Vascular Surgery

In this second episode from our series on race and representation in medicine, we focus on the challenges of recruitment and retention of racial and ethnic minority groups that are underrepresented in medicine (URM) to vascular surgery. We are very pleased to have with us a number of guests at different levels of training to discuss their experiences and insights.


Dr. Chelsea Dorsey is faculty in the Section of Vascular Surgery at the University of Chicago and serves as the Director of the UChicago Vein Clinic and Ambulatory Medical Director for Cardiac, Vascular, and Thoracic Surgery.  She is a graduate of the Pritzker School of Medicine, where she developed an interest in health care inequalities. In addition, she volunteered her time helping pipeline programs and outreach activities in the community geared toward increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in the medical field.  After completing her Vascular Surgery training at Stanford University as the first woman and first African American accepted into the training program, she returned as faculty at the University of Chicago Medicine.  She serves as Director of Preclinical Advising in the medical school. She has served on the BSD Faculty Diversity Committee since 2017 and was recently appointed Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee in the Department of Surgery.  


Dr. Elsie Ross is a vascular surgeon and research scientist in the Division of Vascular Surgery at Stanford University. She graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2011 and completed her vascular surgery integrated residency at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2018. During her residency, she completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in biomedical informatics. Her current research focuses on using machine learning and electronic health records for early disease identification, precision medicine, and evaluating opportunities to engage in patient education beyond the clinic. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a Soros Fellow, and is a recipient of the Young Investigators Award from the Association for Academic Surgery, as well as the Junior Faculty Award from the Society of University Surgeons.


Dr.  Joel L. Ramirez, MD, is the inaugural UCSF Integrated Vascular Surgery resident. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of California, Irvine, and  received his medical degree from the UCSF School of Medicine, graduating with Distinction in Clinical and Translation Research, and as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. Dr. Ramirez conducted an NIH-funded pre-doctoral research fellowship between his third and fourth years of medical school with the UCSF Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. In 2018, he was awarded first place for the Western Vascular Society Robert Hye Memorial Best Resident Presentation Award, for his research reporting on long term outcomes of endovascular aortic aneurysm repair. Dr. Ramirez has been the recipient of numerous other research fellowships, awards, and honors, including the American Medical Association Foundation Physicians of Tomorrow Award, the Society for Vascular Surgery Foundation Student Research Fellowship for two consecutive years, the American Heart Association Student Scholarship in Cardiovascular Disease, and the Association for Academic Surgery Senior Medical Student Award, among many others.


Dr. Ronald Dalman is the Walter C. and Elsa R. Chidester Professor and Chief of Vascular Surgery at Stanford University. He is also the current President of the Society for Vascular Surgery. Dr. Dalman earned his medical degree at the University of Michigan and completed surgical training at the University of Washington (Seattle) and his vascular fellowship at the Oregon Health and Sciences University. Dr. Dalman joined Stanford directly out of training and has led the vascular program since 2005. He is a member of the Vascular Surgery Board, American Board of Surgery, and a past member of the Residency Review Committee for Surgery, ACGME. At Stanford Health Care he serves as Co-Director and Chief Quality Officer for the Cardiovascular Service Line. At the School of Medicine, Dr. Dalman is a Steering Committee and founding member of the Cardiovascular Institute (CVI). Dr. Dalman's research laboratory studies the pathophysiology of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease, and is actively engaged in identifying and validating new treatment measures for AAA. 


Additional Resources:


Dr. Dorsey’s presentation from the VESS paper session at the SVSOnline- 

Update on Workforce Diversity in Vascular Surgery: What has changed in 20 years?



Perceptual and Structural Facilitators and Barriers to Becoming a Surgeon: A Qualitative Study of African-American and Latino Surgeons Ulloa et al. Acad Med. 2018 September ; 93(9): 1326–1334. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000002282 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29742613/


Structural Solutions for the Rarest of the Rare: Underrepresented-Minority Faculty in Medical Subspecialties Kemi M. Doll, M.D., and Charles R. Thomas, Jr., M.D. N Engl J Med 2020; 383:283-285 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMms2003544