U-M report: U.S. medical schools lag in minorities
BY PATRICIA ANSTETT
FREE PRESS MEDICAL WRITER
Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities still are significantly underrepresented on U.S. medical school faculties, and their numbers have stagnated, not improved, despite programs to boost their numbers, a University of Michigan report has found.
Though minorities comprise about 27% of the U.S. population, they held only 7.3% of the teaching jobs at medical schools in 2008, according to the analysis, which was published in the January issue of the journal Gastroenterology.
Men also dramatically outnumbered female faculty, and the number of women declines in faculty positions above the level of instructor, according to the report by Juanita Merchant, professor of internal medicine, and Dr. M. Bishr Omary, who chairs the department of molecular and integrative physiology.
Women made up 17% of those holding the rank of professor in 2008 at U.S. medical schools, compared with 52% who held instructor positions, the authors found.
Only 2,500 minorities a year were admitted to medical schools in 2007, despite a national effort by the Association of American Medical Colleges to boost yearly minority enrollment to 3,000, the report said.
The lack of diversity among medical school faculty and physicians has important implications for efforts to end racial health disparities, because minority patients tend to seek out minority doctors, the authors said.
This year, minorities other than Asian and Pacific Islanders comprised 6% of the U-M medical school's 2,253 faculty members, the same percentage as in 2004, a U-M medical school spokeswoman said.
Some 1,400 of U-M's medical school faculty are men, the rest women, compared with 1,181 men and 625 women with U-M medical school faculty jobs in 2004.
Contact PATRICIA ANSTETT: 313-222-5021 or email@example.com