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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

As part of the Society’s evolving equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, the SCTS have been assessing the opportunities to address the areas of potential inequality that exist in cardiothoracic surgery. In view of this, the SCTS are planning to introduce or evolve a number of initiatives to try and develop a diverse cardiothoracic workforce, and to provide an equality of opportunities and an inclusive environment for all those wishing to develop a career caring for patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery. 


These include: 

  1. Survey the membership in an attempt to get a greater understanding of the issues that exist in cardiothoracic surgery in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion, and how members feel the SCTS can contribute.
    Complete the SCTS Survey
  2. Increasing the opportunities to encourage those from all backgrounds (such as ethnicity, disability, gender and socioeconomic class) to consider cardiothoracic surgery as a career.
    The SCTS already runs student engagement events where medical students and 6th formers attend to get a greater insight of a career in cardiothoracic surgery. As part of the application process, hosting medical schools are encouraged to reach out to schools in local areas of social depravation to encourage them to attend to consider cardiothoracic surgery as a career choice. The SCTS also has an active presence at the careers’ fairs, such as those run by the Royal Society of Medicine, Association of Surgeons in Training and British Medical Association, promoting a career in cardiothoracic surgery to wider audience. In addition, the SCTS is planning to further expand the student outreach and immersion programme, where 6th formers from areas of high social deprivation are given a 2-week work experience placement at their local cardiothoracic surgical unit and the opportunity to witness cardiothoracic surgery at first hand, which for some is a truly life changing experience. The Society also provides bursaries and travel scholarships for medical students to increase accessibility to exposure of cardiothoracic surgery.
  3. Increasing the opportunities and supporting career progression for women in cardiothoracic surgery. 
    The SCTS is planning to launch its Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Mentorship Programme, with the aim to inspire and support women at all stages of training in a career in cardiothoracic surgery. The programme is an opportunity for female medical students or early stage female surgeons, who are aspiring for a career in cardiothoracic surgery, to develop a mentoring relationship with a female cardiothoracic surgical trainee or clinical fellow; and for female cardiothoracic surgical trainees and clinical fellows to develop a mentoring relationship with a female consultant cardiothoracic surgeon. The programme will allow the mentee to gain support and advice on a number of areas, including career development, achieving a work-life balance, sub-specialty training, working less-than-full-time, working during pregnancy, research and academic collaborations, returning to work following maternity leave, and leadership development, as well as networking opportunities. As part of the programme, the Society will be running a number of Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Networking Sessions. The Society has also recently set up a Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Working Group to help evolve the specialty into one that encourages and supports the development of female cardiothoracic surgeons.  
  4. Increasing the opportunities and providing support for career progression to Trust Appointed Doctors. The Society is planning to enhance the SCTS education programme for these doctors to ensure opportunities for career progression, such as exam revision courses for the FRCS (C-Th) examination, and guidance on obtaining Article 14, applying for consultant posts and consultant interview practice. In addition, the SCTS is planning to develop a Trust Appointed Doctors Mentorship Programme to provide guidance and advice, where these doctors can contact those who have been in their position and overcome the challenges. 
  5. Encouraging appropriate diversity of the positions of responsibility within the SCTS. The Society is planning to ensure that equal opportunities and encouragement is given to those from a diverse background to apply for leadership positions within the SCTS. 
  6. Commission articles for the SCTS website and Bulletin from those who have faced issues related to equality and diversity, and on how to overcome those challenges.  
  7. Ensuring SCTS policy and documentation reflects the Society's position on equality, diversity and inclusion, including that attributable to 'unconscious bias'.