The experiences of underrepresented minority faculty in schools of medicine

Dena Hassouneh, Kristin F. Lutz, Ann K. Beckett, Edward P. Junkins, La Shawn L. Horton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Introduction: Faculty of color in schools of medicine play an essential role in addressing health disparities, increasing diversity in healthcare, and improving health professions education. Yet inadequate progress has been made in increasing the numbers of faculty of color in medical schools. The reasons for this gap, and ways to address it, are poorly understood. Methods: We conducted a grounded theory study of 25 of faculty from groups historically underrepresented in academic medicine at 17 schools in the United States. Faculty were interviewed in person (n=4, 16%) and by telephone (n=21, 84%). Results: We identified two processes that contribute to a greater understanding of the experiences of faculty of color: patterns of exclusion and control, and surviving and thriving. We also identified one outcome - faculty of color having influence. Conclusions: Strong support from leaders, mentors, and peers to nurture and protect faculty of color in schools of medicine is needed to counteract the negative effects of racism and to promote the positive effects this group has on diversity and excellence in medical education. Specific strategies for survival and success are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24768
JournalMedical Education Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic medicine
  • Diversity
  • Faculty of color
  • Grounded theory
  • Qualitative research
  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Underrepresented minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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