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Comment & Response
March 19, 2014

Minority Faculty Development Programs at US Medical Schools

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2014;311(11):1157-1158. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.847

To the Editor A national study conducted by Dr Guevara and colleagues1 did not find an association between targeted faculty development programs and greater representation, recruitment, or promotion of underrepresented minority faculty at US allopathic medical schools over a 10-year period. However, this finding should be placed in context.

Comparing schools of medicine is difficult, considering the complexity of factors that influence such organizations. The composition of the local community and mission of the institution may influence faculty demographics, which are dimensions not considered in the authors’ model. Two important additional factors that should be incorporated are institutional structure and program quality. Faculty composition may differ in a medical school that is part of an integrated health system, in which the entire organization is administered under 1 umbrella, from in an institution that is only affiliated with a teaching hospital. A faculty development program in an affiliated model may have less effect on faculty demographics than a program in an integrated model.

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