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Faculty Diversity Programs in U.S. Medical Schools and Characteristics Associated With Higher Faculty Diversity

Page, Kathleen Raquel MD; Castillo-Page, Laura PhD; Wright, Scott M. MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31822c066d
Faculty

Purpose: To describe diversity programs for racial and ethnic minority faculty in U.S. medical schools and identify characteristics associated with higher faculty diversity.

Method: The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey study of leaders of diversity programs at 106 U.S. MD-granting medical schools in 2010. Main outcome measures included African American and Latino faculty representation, with correlations to diversity program characteristics, minority medical student representation, and state demographics.

Results: Responses were obtained from 82 of the 106 institutions (77.4%). The majority of the respondents were deans, associate and assistant deans (68.3%), members of minority ethnic/racial background (65.9% African American, 14.7% Latino), and women (63.4%). The average time in the current position was 6.7 years, with approximately 50% effort devoted to the diversity program. Most programs targeted medical trainees and faculty (63.4%). A majority of programs received monetary support from their institutions (82.9%). In bivariate analysis, none of the program characteristics measured were associated with higher than the mean minority faculty representation in 2008 (3% African American and 4.2% Latino faculty). However, minority state demographics in 2008, and proportion of minority medical students a decade earlier, were significantly associated with minority faculty representation.

Conclusions: Medical student diversity 10 years earlier was the strongest modifiable factor associated with faculty diversity. Our results support intervening early to strengthen the minority medical student pipeline to improve faculty diversity. Schools located in states with low minority representation may need to commit additional effort to realize institutional diversity.

Dr. Page is assistant professor, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Castillo-Page is senior director, Diversity Policy and Programs, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.

Dr. Wright is professor, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Page, 1503 E. Jefferson St., Room 117, Baltimore, MD 21287; telephone: (443) 287-4098; fax: (443) 287-6440; e-mail: kpage2@jhmi.edu.

First published online August 24, 2011

© 2011 Association of American Medical Colleges