Purpose: To assess the diversity of the U.S. diagnostic radiology physician workforce by race, Hispanic ethnicity, and sex in the context of the available pipeline of medical students. Materials and Methods: Institutional review board evaluation and exemption were granted for the study, as primary data were obtained from publicly available registry sources, with no identifiable private or protected information. Publicly available American Medical Association, American Association of Medical Colleges, and U.S. census registries were used to assess differences for 2010 among diagnostic radiology practicing physicians, academic faculty, residents, subspecialty trainees, residency applicants, medical school graduates, and U.S. population by using binomial tests; with adjustment for multiple comparisons among different groups, differences with P <.001 were considered significant. Significant differences in diagnostic radiology resident representation were evaluated for academic years 2003-2004 to 2010-2011 and for 2010, compared among the 20 largest residency training programs. Results: Females and traditionally underrepresented minorities in medicine (URM)-blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AI/AN/NH/PI)-are underrepresented as practicing physicians (23.5% and 6.5%, respectively), faculty (26.1%, 5.9%), and diagnostic radiology residents (27.8%, 8.3%), compared with the U.S. population (50.8%, 30.0%) (all P <.001). Although they are increased in percentage as residents compared with practicing physicians, females and URMs remain underrepresented at the resident trainee level, compared with their proportions as medical school graduates (48.3%, 15.3%, respectively). During the past 8 years, there was no significant increase in female or URM resident (all P > .01) representation, suggesting no dramatic change in future representation as practicing physicians. Moreover, diagnostic radiology ranks 17th in female and 20th in URM representation among the 20 largest residency training specialties. Conclusion: Females and URM remain underrepresented in the diagnostic radiology physician workforce despite an available medical student pipeline. Given prevalent health care disparities and an increasingly diverse society, future research and training efforts should address increasing resident diversity with program directors and department chairs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging