New AAMC Report Assesses Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Medical Schools

Most medical schools have comprehensive admission policies. Include diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as part of your mission or vision statement. Have a formal policy in place to manage complaints of discrimination, prejudice and harassment. But few reward faculty members who work to further DEI’s goals. There is a systematic plan to improve the DEI initiative. Or make her DEI data widely available to the campus community.

These are just a few of the findings from our first-ever report on DEI policy and practice in medical schools in the United States and Canada. The Power of Collective Action: Assessing and Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at AAMC Schools of Medicine was released by the AAMC on November 10 and contains a snapshot of what schools are doing well, what could be improved, and DEI practices in use in some schools.

This report is the result of 101 medical schools that have chosen to complete the AAMC Diversity, Inclusion, Culture & Equity (DICE) Inventory, a tool designed to assess institutional policies, programs and practices related to the DEI. It’s the culmination of months of work. The AAMC Board of Directors (COD) led the initiative, and the medical school took an average of 29 hours to complete the assessment.

“In the wake of the social upheavals we experienced, especially in the immediate aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, and the inequalities exposed during the pandemic … our medical school, especially our medical students and faculty, and staff, are committed to: “We need to do more to promote social justice in a comprehensive way,” said Henry Ford, M.D., COD chair and dean of the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. says. The report will allow “all of us to see where we are today and how we compare to each other. Also diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Co-author of this report and Senior Director of Equity and Social Accountability at the AAMC, Malika Fair, M.P.H., M.P.H. It says it helps institutions (and the AAMC) develop programs. Helps further advance DEI’s goals. “We thought we knew that we as a medical community were doing well, and the data confirms that. It was not obvious, and now we know where to focus our attention and how we can help our member institutions.”

Key highlights of the report include:

  • 100% of participating medical schools have admission policies that support a diverse class of students.
  • 97% of participating medical schools have senior leaders who demonstrate commitment to DEI in their personal conduct and internal and external communications.
  • 94% of participating medical schools provide equitable access to employee benefits. 91.1% offer flexible parental/family leave equally regardless of gender or sexual orientation. 85.1% take comprehensive and fair paid leave for medical or other family care responsibilities.
  • Eighty-nine percent of participating medical schools report that DEI is prioritized in their school’s mission, vision, or values ​​statement.

Improvements identified in the report include:

  • Only 63.4% of participating medical colleges have a diverse recruitment plan for faculty, and 67.3% require departments to assemble a diverse pool of candidates for faculty positions.
  • While 80.2% of medical schools have demographic data available to facilitate DEI planning, only 48.5% say the data is readily available to the campus community.
  • Only one-third of schools offer performance incentives for the school or its department to meet DEI goals.
  • Less than half (43.6%) of medical schools have promotion and tenure policies that reward faculty scholarships and DEI-related services.

“If you happen to mentor 10 students with similar backgrounds, engage meaningfully with low-resource local communities, and participate on one or more of your institution’s DEI committees, you may be eligible for mentorship, committees, or services. It’s the same percentage of colleagues who may not have demonstrated commitment to DEI based on their associated activity and yet they will be promoted above you,” says Fair. Taxes’ are very real, and I feel like these data really show a lack of commitment to the DEI in promotions and tenure.”

The report also identified practices shared among schools, although individual schools were not specifically mentioned. Among those institutional practices:

  • Some schools have underrepresented in the medical field, including requiring selection of a diverse candidate pool for teaching positions, including DEI advocates as part of recruitment committees, and providing adequate training and training. We use a data-driven approach to increase faculty recruitment from valued backgrounds. guidelines.
  • To support staff promotion and advancement, some schools recognize and reward staff DEI scholarships and service, support tenure clock suspensions (due to parental leave or long absences), We offer strategic and leadership development training.
  • In recent years, many medical schools have made deliberate efforts to integrate DEI content into their curricula, including issues related to health equity, social determinants of health, and racism in medicine and social justice. increase.
  • Many medical schools invest resources and time to update admission policies, expand scholarships, and expand pathway programs to draw students from underresourced or marginalized backgrounds. attracting.

“The evaluation of policies, practices, programs, and the identification and sharing of innovative practices at the institutional level puts academic medicine well-positioned to attract, promote, and retain a diverse health professional workforce. This is the first step in ensuring that , MD, Chief Academic Officer of AAMC.

AAMC Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer David Acosta, M.D., adds: For example, in the near future, this data may allow medical schools to formulate a standardized set of his DEI benchmarks with goals they aim to achieve excellence. The development of his DEI benchmark for academic medicine has been long awaited and could help develop suitable metrics to measure the effectiveness of all DEI efforts…and it is exciting is. ”

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