Mentoring Underrepresented Minority Physician-Scientists to Success

Adina Kalet, Anne M. Libby, Reshma Jagsi, Kathleen Brady, Deborah Chavis-Keeling, Michael H. Pillinger, Gail L. Daumit, Amelia F. Drake, Wonder Puryear Drake, Victoria Fraser, Daniel Ford, Judith S. Hochman, Rochelle D. Jones, Christina Mangurian, Emma A. Meagher, Georgeann McGuinness, Judith G. Regensteiner, Deborah C. Rubin, Kristine Yaffe, Joseph E. Ravenell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

As the nation seeks to recruit and retain physician-scientists, gaps remain in understanding and addressing mitigatable challenges to the success of faculty from underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists program, implemented in 2015 at 10 academic medical centers in the United States, seeks to retain physician-scientists at risk of leaving science because of periods of extraordinary family caregiving needs, hardships that URM faculty - especially those who identify as female - are more likely to experience. At the annual Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists program directors conference in 2018, program directors - 21% of whom identify as URM individuals and 13% as male - addressed issues that affect URM physician-scientists in particular. Key issues that threaten the retention of URM physician-scientists were identified through focused literature reviews; institutional environmental scans; and structured small- and large-group discussions with program directors, staff, and participants. These issues include bias and discrimination, personal wealth differential, the minority tax (i.e., service burdens placed on URM faculty who represent URM perspectives on committees and at conferences), lack of mentorship training, intersectionality and isolation, concerns about confirming stereotypes, and institutional-level factors. The authors present recommendations for how to create an environment in which URM physician-scientists can expect equitable opportunities to thrive, as institutions demonstrate proactive allyship and remove structural barriers to success. Recommendations include providing universal training to reduce interpersonal bias and discrimination, addressing the consequences of the personal wealth gap through financial counseling and benefits, measuring the service faculty members provide to the institution as advocates for URM faculty issues and compensating them appropriately, supporting URM faculty who wish to engage in national leadership programs, and sustaining institutional policies that address structural and interpersonal barriers to inclusive excellence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-502
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume97
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

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