The diversifying US population of children necessitates assessing the diversity of the pediatric academic workforce and its level of cultural competency training. Such data are essential for workforce and educational policies.
An 8-question survey was sent to 131 US pediatric chairs to assess plans for diversity, targeted groups, departmental diversity, diversity measures, perceived success in diversity, and presence and type of cultural competency training.
In all, 49.6% of chairs responded, and three-quarters of them reported having a plan for diversity, which targeted racial; ethnic; gender; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender; disabled; and social class groups. Of the residents, 75% were women, as compared with 54% of faculty and 26% of chairs. Racial and ethnic diversity was limited among trainees, faculty, and leaders; <10% of each group was African American, Hispanic, or Native American. Asian Americans were more common among trainees (15%–33%) but were less common in faculty and leadership positions (0%–14%). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender physicians were represented in some groups. Measures of diversity included the number of trainees and faculty, promotion success, climate assessments, and exit interviews. Overall, 69% of chairs reported being successful in diversity efforts. A total of 90% reported cultural competency training for trainees, and 74% reported training for faculty and staff. Training in cultural competency included linguistic training, primarily in Spanish.
Pipeline issues for minorities are ongoing challenges. Pediatric leadership needs more representation of racial and ethnic minorities, women, and LGBT. Suggestions for workforce and educational policies are made.