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Racial-ethnic diversity of obstetrics and gynecology faculty at medical schools in the United States

Published:February 12, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2022.02.007

      Objective

      The nation’s population is diversifying at a faster pace. Recruiting practitioners who better represent the patient population has become a public health strategy.
      • Xierali I.M.
      • Castillo-Page L.
      • Zhang K.
      • Gampfer K.R.
      • Nivet M.A.
      AM last page: the urgency of physician workforce diversity.
      Furthermore, racial-ethnic diversity of medical school faculty has been linked to medical student diversity, cultural and structural competencies of graduates, and cultural climate of healthcare and research that contribute to institutional excellence.
      • Amalba A.
      • Abantanga F.A.
      • Scherpbier A.J.
      • van Mook W.N.
      Community-based education: the influence of role modeling on career choice and practice location.
      This study aimed to report the racial-ethnic diversity of obstetrics and gynecology faculty at US medical schools concerning the US adult female population.

      Study Design

      This cross-sectional, observational study included individuals who self-reported to belong to any one of the following racial-ethnic groups: Hispanic (of any race), non-Hispanic White, Black or African American, Asian, Native American (American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander), or others or unknown. As defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the underrepresented minority (URM) in medicine is any racial or ethnic population that is underrepresented in the medical profession relative to the numbers of the general population (eg, Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans). The most recent nationwide data were gathered about full-time obstetrics and gynecology faculty from the 2021 AAMC Faculty Roster, obstetrics and gynecology residents from the 2021 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Data Resource Book, and US adult females (aged ≥15 years) from the 2019 American Community Survey.
      Association of American Medical Colleges
      Faculty roster: U.S. medical school faculty.
      Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
      Data resource book, academic year 2020-2021.
      United States Census Bureau
      The 2019 American community survey 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files.
      Female and male faculty were subdivided into junior (instructor or assistant professor) and senior (associate professor or professor) levels. We used the t test to measure group differences. A P value of <.05 was considered statistically significant.

      Results

      Females constituted two-thirds (4487 [66.6%]) of the 6738 faculty and were more likely to be junior faculty than senior faculty (75.6% vs 50.5%; P<.001). The percentages of the junior and senior faculty in each major racial-ethnic group were compared with the US adult female population in the Figure. Junior faculty were less likely to be White than senior faculty (62.9% vs 72.9%; P<.001) and the same as the US female population (62.3%). Junior faculty were more likely to be Black or Hispanic than senior faculty, although these proportions were lower than the adult female population (Black: 8.5% vs 12.4%; P<.001; Hispanic: 7.4% vs 16.7%; P<.001). Native Americans constituted <1% of all population groups. Asian faculty were more common than US adult female faculty (12.9% vs 5.8%; P<.001). The distribution of racial-ethnic groups was not different between faculty and residents who were Asian (12.9% vs 11.9%), Black (8.5% vs 8.3%), Hispanic (7.3% vs 7.2%), or Native American (0.4% vs 0.5%). Those who reported as “others or unknown” were less common among faculty than residents (4.1% vs 15.9%; P<.001).
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      FigureRacial-ethnic diversity between the US population and ob-gyn faculty
      Rayburn. Racial-ethnic diversity of ob-gyn faculty. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2022.

      Conclusion

      Previously, we reported on how the expansion of faculty in the field of obstetrics and gynecology throughout 40 years (from 1973 to 2012) led to greater diversity (more females and underrepresented minorities) than other core clinical departments.
      • Rayburn W.F.
      • Liu C.Q.
      • Elwell E.C.
      • Rogers R.G.
      Diversity of physician faculty in obstetrics and gynecology.
      Our research letter has provided continuing information about faculty diversity by examining racial-ethnic differences between junior and senior faculty concerning the general female population. We found that the percentages of female faculty and all non-White groups increased since our previous report. This change was likely because of the greater racial-ethnic diversity of the expanding number of faculty, especially junior faculty who were predominantly female. We wish to explore the hypothesis that continued change in the racial-ethnic diversity of faculty will only occur once more URM students, especially the growing number of Hispanics, are admitted into medical schools and recruited for residency positions.

      References

        • Xierali I.M.
        • Castillo-Page L.
        • Zhang K.
        • Gampfer K.R.
        • Nivet M.A.
        AM last page: the urgency of physician workforce diversity.
        Acad Med. 2014; 89: 1192
        • Amalba A.
        • Abantanga F.A.
        • Scherpbier A.J.
        • van Mook W.N.
        Community-based education: the influence of role modeling on career choice and practice location.
        Med Teach. 2017; 39: 174-180
        • Association of American Medical Colleges
        Faculty roster: U.S. medical school faculty.
        (Available at:)
        • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
        Data resource book, academic year 2020-2021.
        (Available at:)
        • United States Census Bureau
        The 2019 American community survey 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files.
        (Available at:)
        • Rayburn W.F.
        • Liu C.Q.
        • Elwell E.C.
        • Rogers R.G.
        Diversity of physician faculty in obstetrics and gynecology.
        J Reprod Med. 2016; 61: 22-26