Addressing disparities in academic medicine: what of the minority tax?

BMC Med Educ. 2015 Feb 1:15:6. doi: 10.1186/s12909-015-0290-9.


Background: The proportion of black, Latino, and Native American faculty in U.S. academic medical centers has remained almost unchanged over the last 20 years. Some authors credit the "minority tax"-the burden of extra responsibilities placed on minority faculty in the name of diversity. This tax is in reality very complex, and a major source of inequity in academic medicine.

Discussion: The "minority tax" is better described as an Underrepresented Minority in Medicine (URMM) faculty responsibility disparity. This disparity is evident in many areas: diversity efforts, racism, isolation, mentorship, clinical responsibilities, and promotion. The authors examine the components of the URMM responsibility disparity and use information from the medical literature and from human resources to suggest practical steps that can be taken by academic leaders and policymakers to move toward establishing faculty equity and thus increase the numbers of black, Latino, and Native American faculty in academic medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration*
  • Academic Medical Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Faculty, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Faculty, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups / psychology
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personnel Management / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States