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. 2004 Mar;19(3):259-65.
doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.20409.x.

Faculty Self-Reported Experience With Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Academic Medicine

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Faculty Self-Reported Experience With Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Academic Medicine

Neeraja B Peterson et al. J Gen Intern Med. .
Free PMC article


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.

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