Increasing URiM Family Medicine Residents at University of Utah Health

PRiMER. 2021 Oct 26:5:42. doi: 10.22454/PRiMER.2021.279738. eCollection 2021.


Introduction: The Department of Family and Preventive Medicine is home for the University of Utah's Family Medicine Residency program. Although Utah's diversity is steadily increasing, the race/ethnic diversity of the program's family medicine residency does not reflect the state's general population.

Methods: From 2017 to 2021, the residency instituted several adjustments to recruitment processes, including modification of an existing screening system to better highlight resiliency in overcoming challenging life experiences; promotion of commitment to diversity during interview days; incorporation of increased participation from diverse faculty and residents on interview days; and addition of outreach from the Office of Health, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Underrepresented in medicine (URiM) applicants were the first to be offered interviews in an identical screening score cohort, and were ranked highest in rank lists in cohorts with identical final rank scores.

Results: Over the past five match cycles, Latinx residents have increased from zero to six, and underrepresented Asian residents from zero to two. In the 2021 match cycle, five of 10 incoming residents (50%) are URiM. Overall, URiM residents are now 30%, and residents of color 36%, of a total of 30 residents across all 3 training years. We found that eight URiM interviews were needed for every one URiM match.

Conclusion: Intentional resident recruitment initiatives can transform racial/ethnic diversity in a family medicine residency program in a short amount of time.