Faculty self-reported experience with racial and ethnic discrimination in academic medicine.

Peterson NB, Friedman RH, Ash AS, Franco S, Carr PL
J Gen Intern Med. 2004 19 (3): 259-65

PMID: 15009781 · PMCID: PMC1492150 · DOI:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.20409.x

BACKGROUND - Despite the need to recruit and retain minority faculty in academic medicine, little is known about the experiences of minority faculty, in particular their self-reported experience of racial and ethnic discrimination at their institutions.

OBJECTIVE - To determine the frequency of self-reported experience of racial/ethnic discrimination among faculty of U.S. medical schools, as well as associations with outcomes, such as career satisfaction, academic rank, and number of peer-reviewed publications.

DESIGN - A 177-item self-administered mailed survey of U.S. medical school faculty.

SETTING - Twenty-four randomly selected medical schools in the contiguous United States.

PARTICIPANTS - A random sample of 1,979 full-time faculty, stratified by medical school, specialty, graduation cohort, and gender.

MEASUREMENTS - Frequency of self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic bias and discrimination.

RESULTS - The response rate was 60%. Of 1,833 faculty eligible, 82% were non-Hispanic white, 10% underrepresented minority (URM), and 8% non-underrepresented minority (NURM). URM and NURM faculty were substantially more likely than majority faculty to perceive racial/ethnic bias in their academic environment (odds ratio [OR], 5.4; P <.01 and OR, 2.6; P <.01, respectively). Nearly half (48%) of URM and 26% of NURM reported experiencing racial/ethnic discrimination by a superior or colleague. Faculty with such reported experiences had lower career satisfaction scores than other faculty (P <.01). However, they received comparable salaries, published comparable numbers of papers, and were similarly likely to have attained senior rank (full or associate professor).

CONCLUSIONS - Many minority faculty report experiencing racial/ethnic bias in academic medicine and have lower career satisfaction than other faculty. Despite this, minority faculty who reported experiencing racial/ethnic discrimination achieved academic productivity similar to that of other faculty.

MeSH Terms (12)

Adult Ethnic Groups Faculty, Medical Female Humans Job Satisfaction Male Middle Aged Minority Groups Prejudice Schools, Medical Surveys and Questionnaires

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