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.