Race and Gender Disparities Among Leadership in Academic Family Medicine

J Am Board Fam Med. 2022 Sep 12;jabfm.2022.AP.220122. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.AP.220122. Online ahead of print.


As the United States moves closer to a majority-minority, and a nearly equal male to female population, we should see a similar shift in the composition of leadership in the workplace. Family Medicine, while attempting to close the gaps, continues to fall short in producing women and minority leaders. METHODS: The demographic traits of Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM) chairs in medical education institutions in the United States and Canada were analyzed. RESULTS: The majority of those in chair positions were male (67%) and White (53%) non-Hispanic. Male chairs have been in positions significantly longer than females (average 9 years and 6 years, respectively). There was also a significant difference between chairs in public versus private schools-public, that is, chairs at public institutions had a much longer average time of 9 years in current position compared with those in private institutions had an average of 5 years. While the comparison was not significant, 46% of those that self-reported as non-White held chair positions at private schools compared with 28% of those that self-reported as White. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the availability of leadership pathways, women and underrepresented minorities continue to be underrepresented in these positions. Future research would benefit from a more extensive evaluation of different characteristics such as disability, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Keywords: Cultural Competency; Family Medicine; Gender; Leadership; Medical Faculty; Workplace.