Background: Evidence suggests that increasing institutional diversity has a positive impact on academic institutions. Prior studies have showed significant gender and racial disparities in various fields of medicine.We sought to identify the current rate of representation of women and various race/ethnic groups within the academic emergency medicine (AEM) hierarchy.
Methods: Population census data regarding the gender and race/ethnicity of all members of the academic medical education community was obtained from the AAMC for years 2007 to 2017. The percentage of women in all clinical specialties was ascertained. The composition of members of the AEM hierarchy by race/ethnicity was also ascertained. Absolute and relative changes in the representation of studied groups was subsequently calculated.
Results: During the study period (2007-2017), the total number of positions in the AEM hierarchy rose from 2,647 to 5,055, an increase of 190.97%. The number of women in AEM positions advanced from 750 to 1834, an increase of 244.53%, while the number of men in AEM positions increased 169.79% from 1897 to 3,221. The percent representation of women within the hierarchy experienced a relative increase of 17.93% (-7.89% for men). Other specialties underwent similar changes, with Anesthesiology experiencing a relative change of 26.57%, Internal Medicine 53.40% and Radiology 7.99%. The population of white female professors in AEM decreased from 96.5% in 2007 to 83.17% in 2017 (86.24% of men, decreased from 92.00%). Meanwhile, 6.32% of women professors in 2017 were African-American (0.92% of men), 4.21% were Hispanic/Latino of any race (3.21% of men) and 5.26% were Asian (5.04% of men). There was virtually no representation of Native Americans or Native Hawaiians in AEM. The relative increase in women minority representation in AEM professorships was 162.66% (57.50% for men).
Conclusion: Between 2007 and 2017 representation of women in AEM increased significantly and at a similar rate to other academic specialties. The population of women in AEM professorships, associate professorships and assistant professorships also became more diverse, with African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos experiencing the greatest increases. The population of women in AEM is more ethnically diverse than men, and experienced greater growth in minority representation.