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An Environmental Scan of Faculty Diversity Programs at U.S. Medical Schools

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PURPOSE: To update the information available on the number and type of faculty diversity programs at U.S. MD-degree-granting medical schools.

METHOD: The authors conducted an environmental scan of the 124 MD-degree-granting medical schools included in the 2010 Faculty Roster. They interviewed key informants in the faculty affairs and/or minority affairs offices and conducted Web site searches to identify relevant schoolwide programs. Using a conceptual framework, they categorized the faculty programs that they identified into four domains: mentorship, career development, social climate, and financial support.

RESULTS: Of 124 eligible schools, the authors interviewed key informants from 84 schools (67.7%) and conducted Web site searches for 40 schools (32.2%). They identified diversity programs at 36 schools (29.0%) including mentoring (20/36; 16.1%), career development (20/36; 16.1%), social climate (17/36; 13.7%), and financial support programs (15/36; 12.1%). Schools with diversity programs were similar to schools without diversity programs in terms of year established, public/private status, and designation as historically black but were more likely to rank in the highest quartile and have a greater number of total faculty, and less likely to be located in the South.

CONCLUSIONS: Less than a third of medical schools had programs targeting underrepresented minority (URM) faculty, and those programs that existed differed in scope and goals. These findings suggest that a lack of resources and a preference for programs that target all faculty may limit the development of programs targeting URM faculty. Future research should examine whether diversity programs contribute to URM faculty recruitment and retention.


Adanga E, Avakame E, Carthon MB, Guevara JP