Specialty choices, compensation, and career satisfaction of underrepresented minority faculty in academic medicine

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Data Collection; Faculty, Medical; Female; Humans; *Job Satisfaction; Male; Medicine; Minority Groups; *Salaries and Fringe Benefits; *Specialization; United States


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


PURPOSE: Despite efforts to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities (URMs), only 3.9% of medical school faculty are URMs. The authors compared the specialty choices, compensation, and career satisfaction of minority faculty with those of their majority counterparts to determine whether there were differences that might affect the recruitment and retention of minority faculty.

METHOD: In 1995, the authors mailed a self-administered survey to a stratified random sample of 3,013 eligible full-time salaried faculty in 24 randomly selected medical schools. Those schools, which had at least 200 faculty, did not include the Puerto Rican or historically black medical schools.

RESULTS: Of the eligible faculty surveyed, 1,807 (60%) responded; 1,463 were majority faculty, 195 were URM faculty, and 149 were other-minority faculty. Similar proportions of the three groups were in the primary care specialties. Only 11% of the URM respondents were in basic science departments. There was no significant difference in adjusted mean compensation between majority, URM, and other-minority faculty. However, URM faculty were significantly less satisfied with their careers (adjusted scores: 60 versus > 65; p = .001) and more often considered leaving academic medicine within five years (58% versus < 45%).

CONCLUSION: Given the demographic changes of the U.S. population, these issues should be addressed by deans and department heads in order to enhance recruitment and facilitate retention of URM faculty in academic medicine.


Acad Med. 2000 Feb;75(2):157-60. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed