Skip to main content
Faculty self-reported experience with racial and ethnic discrimination in academic medicine
Quantitative Health Sciences Publications and Presentations
  • Neeraja B. Peterson, Vanderbilt University
  • Robert H. Friedman, Boston University
  • Arlene S. Ash, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Shakira Franco, Boston University
  • Phyllis L. Carr, Boston University
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Publication Date
Document Type
Adult; Ethnic Groups; Faculty, Medical; Female; Humans; *Job Satisfaction; Male; Middle Aged; Minority Groups; *Prejudice; Questionnaires; Schools, Medical
BACKGROUND: Despite the need to recruit and retain minority faculty in academic medicine, little is known about the experiences of minority faculty, in particular their self-reported experience of racial and ethnic discrimination at their institutions. OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of self-reported experience of racial/ethnic discrimination among faculty of U.S. medical schools, as well as associations with outcomes, such as career satisfaction, academic rank, and number of peer-reviewed publications. DESIGN: A 177-item self-administered mailed survey of U.S. medical school faculty. SETTING: Twenty-four randomly selected medical schools in the contiguous United States. PARTICIPANTS: A random sample of 1,979 full-time faculty, stratified by medical school, specialty, graduation cohort, and gender. MEASUREMENTS: Frequency of self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic bias and discrimination. RESULTS: The response rate was 60%. Of 1,833 faculty eligible, 82% were non-Hispanic white, 10% underrepresented minority (URM), and 8% non-underrepresented minority (NURM). URM and NURM faculty were substantially more likely than majority faculty to perceive racial/ethnic bias in their academic environment (odds ratio [OR], 5.4; P <.01 and OR, 2.6; P <.01, respectively). Nearly half (48%) of URM and 26% of NURM reported experiencing racial/ethnic discrimination by a superior or colleague. Faculty with such reported experiences had lower career satisfaction scores than other faculty (P <.01). However, they received comparable salaries, published comparable numbers of papers, and were similarly likely to have attained senior rank (full or associate professor). CONCLUSIONS: Many minority faculty report experiencing racial/ethnic bias in academic medicine and have lower career satisfaction than other faculty. Despite this, minority faculty who reported experiencing racial/ethnic discrimination achieved academic productivity similar to that of other faculty.
Rights and Permissions
Citation: J Gen Intern Med. 2004 Mar;19(3):259-65. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
Citation Information
Neeraja B. Peterson, Robert H. Friedman, Arlene S. Ash, Shakira Franco, et al.. "Faculty self-reported experience with racial and ethnic discrimination in academic medicine" Vol. 19 Iss. 3 (2004) ISSN: 0884-8734 (Linking)
Available at: