PURPOSE: To describe lifetime prevalences and correlates of ethnic harassment in U.S. women physicians. METHOD: The authors analyzed responses to questions about ethnic harassment that appeared in the Women Physicians' Health Study, a 1993-94, nationally distributed survey of 4,501 female physicians. RESULTS: Of the responding physicians, 62% of blacks reported having experienced ethnic harassment, twice the rate of Asians and “others,” three times that of Hispanics, and ten times that of whites. Twenty-five percent of black physicians reported experiencing harassment in at least three phases of their careers (before medical school, during medical school, during training, in practice), compared with 6% of “others,” 2% of Hispanics and Asians, and less than 0.5% of whites. U.S.-born and foreign-born doctors reported similar rates of harassment before and during medical school, while foreign-born doctors reported significantly more harassment during training and practice. Reports of harassment during medical school were higher for blacks under 50 than for those over 50 (38% vs 10%, p = .0101). In white physicians, harassment was significantly associated with religion. For certain ethnic groups, control of work environment, dissatisfaction with profession, and stress at work and home were associated with reported harassment. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalences of ethnic harassment at various stages of medical training and practice are high, and not decreasing. This has serious potential ramifications for the medical profession's goal of a diverse physician workforce.
Created Date: 12 July 1999; Completed Date: 12 July 1999; Revised Date: 26 November 2001
© 1999 Association of American Medical Colleges