The benefits of diversifying the workforce of pediatricians is clear. How well does the pediatric faculty workforce reflect the demographics of the children in the US? Omoruyi et al (10.1542/peds.2021-055472) share with us a cross-sectional analysis of data obtained from the Association of American Medical Colleges Faculty Roster registry from 2000-2020.
The good news is that under-represented in medicine (URiM) faculty representation increased across all academic ranks over these two decades. However, the proportion of URiM male faculty has not changed. Furthermore, the percentage of pediatric faculty who are URiM is lower than the minority populations in the US. Why is this and what can be done about it?
To answer that question, we invited Dr. Joe Wright and Dr. W. Christopher Golden from the University of Maryland to share with us their thoughts on these findings in an accompanying commentary (10.1542/peds.2022-057435). Drs. Wright and Golden point out a number of barriers that may be preventing increases in URiM pediatric faculty in our academic institutions. They note ways to overcome these barriers by highlighting some successful programs to further grow a pipeline of faculty (e.g., the Academic Pediatric Association’s New Century Scholars program) and the importance of advancing diversity in leadership roles in academic pediatrics. They also remind us not to put the weight of overcoming these barriers on the shoulders of those who are underrepresented. The onus on fixing this problem rests with all of us. Check out this important study and commentary to learn more.