Original Article

OPEN: An Approach to Faculty Development for Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine

Authors: Juan Robles, MD, Tanya Anim, MD, Maria Harsha Wusu, MD, MSEd, Krys E. Foster, MD, MPH, Yury Parra, MD, Octavia Amaechi, MD, Kari-Claudia Allen, MD, MPH, Jose E. Rodríguez, MD, Kendall M. Campbell, MD, Dmitry Tumin, PhD, Judy Washington, MD


Objectives: The diversity of the US physician workforce lags significantly behind the population, and the disparities in academic medicine are even greater, with underrepresented in medicine (URM) physicians accounting for only 6.8% of all US medical school faculty. We describe a “for URM by URM” pilot approach to faculty development for junior URM Family Medicine physicians that targets unique challenges faced by URM faculty.

Methods: A year-long fellowship was created for junior URM academic clinician faculty with funding through the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Project Fund. Seven junior faculty applied and were accepted to participate in the fellowship, which included conference calls and an in-person workshop covering topics related to writing and career advancement.

Results: The workshop included a mix of prepared programming on how to move from idea to project to manuscript, as well as time for spontaneous mentorship and manuscript collaboration. Key themes that emerged included how to address the high cost of the minority tax, the need for individual passion as a pathway to success, and how to overcome imposter syndrome as a hindrance to writing.

Conclusions: The “for URM by URM” approach for faculty development to promote writing skills and scholarship for junior URM Family Medicine physicians can address challenges faced by URM faculty. By using a framework that includes the mentors’ lived experiences and creates a psychological safe space, we can address concerns often overlooked in traditional skills-based faculty development programs.

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Table 1. Fellowship application requirements

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Table 2. Fellow profile

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Table 3. Participant written feedback at the end of the workshop

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