Given the considerable demographic changes occurring in the in the United States coupled with the urgent need for the field of medicine to continue to adapt to and better align with societal needs and expectations, a growing number of leaders in academic medicine have called for academic health centers to redouble their efforts to increase the diversity of students, faculty, and staff. Although it is laudable to call for increased attention and efforts to diversify, it is of paramount importance to review and distill what we have learned from past efforts so that future energy can be spent intelligently to ensure greater impact going forward. This article reviews the literature on both the barriers and facilitators for racial and ethnic minorities in academic medical careers and offers guidance for increasing the diversity of the nation's medical school faculty members and leadership.
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