Background: In 2008, the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) developed a set of recruitment strategies designed to increase the number of under-represented minorities (URMs) in Emergency Medicine (EM) residency.
Objectives: We conducted a survey of United States (US) EM residency program directors to: describe the racial and ethnic composition of residents; ascertain whether each program had instituted CORD recruitment strategies; and identify program characteristics associated with recruitment of a high proportion of URM residents.
Methods: The survey was distributed to accredited, nonmilitary US EM residency programs during 2013. Programs were dichotomized into high URM and low URM by the percentage of URM residents. High- and low-URM programs were compared with respect to size, geography, percentage of URM faculty, importance assigned to common applicant selection criteria, and CORD recruitment strategies utilized. Odds ratios and 95% confidence limits were calculated.
Results: Of 154 residency programs, 72% responded. The median percentage of URM residents per program was 9%. Only 46% of EM programs engaged in at least two recruitment strategies. Factors associated with higher resident diversity (high-URM) included: diversity of EM faculty (high-URM) (odds ratio [OR] 5.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.1-13.0); applicant's URM status considered important (OR 4.9; 95% CI 2.1-11.9); engaging in pipeline activities (OR 4.8; 95% CI 1.4-15.7); and extracurricular activities considered important (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.2-6.0).
Conclusion: Less than half of EM programs have instituted two or more recruitment strategies from the 2008 CORD diversity panel. EM faculty diversity, active pipeline programs, and attention paid to applicants' URM status and extracurricular activities were associated with higher resident diversity.
Keywords: cross-sectional studies; cultural diversity; internship and residency; minority groups; questionnaires.
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