Trends in Racial and Gender Profiles of United States Academic Emergency Medicine Faculty: Cross-Sectional Survey From 2007 to 2018

J Emerg Med. 2022 Oct 13;S0736-4679(22)00423-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2022.07.007. Online ahead of print.


Background: Numerous studies have reported existing disparities in academic medicine. The purpose of this study was to assess racial and gender disparity in academic emergency medicine (EM) faculty positions across the United States from 2007 to 2018.

Objective: The primary objective was to identify the racial and ethnic and gender distributions across academic ranks in EM. The secondary objective was to describe the racial and gender proportions across different tenure tracks and degrees.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Simple descriptive statistics and time series analysis were employed to assess the trends and relationship between race and gender across academic rank, type of degree, and tenure status.

Results: When averaged, 75% of all faculty members were White physicians and 67.5% were male. Asian faculty members showed an increased representation in the lower academic ranks and underrepresented minority groups demonstrated a small increase. Asian faculty members demonstrated a significantly increasing trend at the level of instructor (t = 0.02; p = 0.034; 95% CI 0.05-1.03). Female faculty members showed a significantly decreasing trend over the study period (t = -0.01; p < 0.001; 95% CI 0.68-0.75). White academic physicians and male faculty members made up most of all degree types and tenure categories.

Conclusions: Despite an increase in proportional representation, the underrepresentation of female faculty members and those from minority groups persists in emergency medicine. Further studies are needed to identify and address the root causes of these differences.

Keywords: academic emergency medicine; gender disparity; racial disparity; tenure; underrepresented minority groups.