Institutional variation in the promotion of racial/ethnic minority faculty at US medical schools

Am J Public Health. 2012 May;102(5):852-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300552. Epub 2012 Mar 15.


Objectives: We compared faculty promotion rates by race/ethnicity across US academic medical centers.

Methods: We used the Association of American Medical College's 1983 through 2000 faculty roster data to estimate median institution-specific promotion rates for assistant professor to associate professor and for associate professor to full professor. In unadjusted analyses, we compared medians for Hispanic and Black with White faculty using the Wilcoxon rank sum test. We compared institution-specific promotion rates between racial/ethnic groups with data stratified by institutional characteristic (institution size, proportion racial/ethnic minority faculty, and proportion women faculty) using the χ(2) test. Our sample included 128 academic medical centers and 88, 432 unique faculty.

Results: The median institution-specific promotion rates for White, Hispanic, and Black faculty, respectively, were 30.2%, 23.5%, and 18.8% (P < .01) from assistant to associate professor and 31.5%, 25.0%, and 16.7% (P < .01) from associate to full professor.

Conclusions: At most academic medical centers, promotion rates for Hispanic and Black were lower than those for White faculty. Equitable faculty promotion rates may reflect institutional climates that support the successful development of racial/ethnic minority trainees, ultimately improving healthcare access and quality for all patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Faculty, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Prejudice*
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Schools, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • White People / statistics & numerical data