Women’s Representation in Academic Medicine Improved From 1990 to 2019

Although representation of women in academic medicine improved from 1990 to 2019, representation of underrepresented minorities only increased modestly overall.

HealthDay News Representation of women in academic medicine improved from 1990 to 2019, but representation of underrepresented minorities (URM) only modestly increased, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in JAMA Network Open.

Alexander Yoo, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues quantified representation of women and URM (American Indian and Alaska Native, Black, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander) on U.S. medical school faculty and assessed changes and variability in representation by individual schools. The analysis included data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Faculty Administrative Management Online User System (121 schools and 72,076 faculty in 1990 and 144 schools and 184,577 faculty in 2019).

The researchers found that the median representation quotient (RQ) of women faculty increased from 0.42 to 0.80 (slope, +1.4 percent per year) during the study period, while the median RQ of Black faculty increased from 0.10 to 0.22 (slope, +0.5 percent per year) but remained low. There was a decrease seen in the median RQ of Hispanic faculty from 0.44 to 0.34 (slope, −1.7 percent per year) during the study period. Overall, the absolute total change in RQ of URM showed an increase, although the 30-year slope did not differ from zero (+0.1 percent per year). At the majority of institutions (88.2 percent), the RQ of women faculty increased, but there was large variability observed in URM faculty trends (RQ increased at 39.6 percent of institutions but decreased at 6.9 percent of institutions).

“We also found that county-level population comparisons function differently than national comparisons in assessing medical faculty representation for women and URM,” the authors write. “County-level benchmarks may be helpful in assessing representation in the context of regional demographics.”

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