Academic ranks and medical schools of underrepresented minority faculty in family medicine departments.Acad Med. 2002 Feb; 77(2):173-6.AM
To examine academic rankings and educational backgrounds of underrepresented minority (URM) family medicine faculty and compare their academic ranks with national trends. The authors also determined the extent to which international and historically black educational institutions contributed URM faculty to family medicine.
In 1999 questionnaires were sent to 129 family medicine departments asking for academic ranks and educational institutions attended by their URM faculty. Comparisons were made between URM faculty's academic ranks and all family medicine faculty, medical school minority faculty, and medical school faculty.
A total of 80% of URM faculty were assistant professors or instructors, and 4.4% were professors. URM family medicine faculty had significantly lower rankings compared with medical school minority faculty and all family medicine faculty. URM family medicine faculty at historically black medical schools were more likely to have received their degrees from historically black undergraduate institutions and medical schools than were URM family medicine faculty at non-historically-black medical schools.
URM family medicine faculty appear to experience a double disadvantage: being minority and working for family medicine departments. Their academic ranks remain far below those of both minority medical school faculty and family medicine faculty, a discouraging finding considering the current shortage of URM faculty in family medicine departments. Historically black medical schools cannot address the shortage alone, so non-historically-black medical schools need to both recruit URM faculty and follow up with appropriate mentoring of those faculty.