October 28, 2020–The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine’s (STFM) current efforts to increase the number underrepresented in medicine (URM) faculty and scholars recently received support from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Foundation with the approval of a 3-year grant proposal aimed at funding the development of URM leaders. The $233,900 grant, which includes leadership, mentorship, and scholarship training, was submitted by STFM with the goals of:
- Increasing the number of and the skills of URM family medicine leaders through leadership training and mentorship
- Advancing the scholarly writing skills of URM faculty as a pathway to promotion
URM faculty members collectively make up only 9.4% of academic medicine while representing almost 33% of the national population.1,2 Diversifying the workforce provides an opportunity to enhance the recruitment and retention of URM students, residents, and faculty, and meet the needs of a diverse patient population. Diverse faculty enhance their students’ skills in “active thinking, intellectual engagement, and motivation, as well as certain social and civic skills, such as the ability to empathize and have racial and cultural understanding.”3
Because there is a deficit of URM-focused skill-training in scholarly activity designed to promote career advancement and leadership development for junior faculty, mentorship is needed to provide explicit training on career planning, promotion and tenure, academic tracks, managing conflict, and effective negotiations.4-6
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the most important issues we face as a society and as a profession—and family medicine faculty are on the front line. We are delighted to partner with STFM, which has the talent and the infrastructure to develop URM faculty,” said ABFM Foundation President Warren Newton, MD, MPH.
The work funded by the grant is being performed with guidance from an interprofessional oversight committee, led by Edgar Figueroa, MD, MPH, and includes:
- Mentorship through online training, longitudinal mentoring, and virtual coaching software platforms
- Leadership development through preconference workshops, presentations, online courses, and financial support
- Development and implementation of the URM Scholarly Writing and Leadership Fellowship
“Through this initiative, STFM has an opportunity to advance the URM physician pipeline, provide resources and education to reshape medical education, and empower future family physicians to provide community-responsive care that improves outcomes and reduces disparities,” emphasized STFM President Tricia Elliott, MD.
- census.gov. Quick Facts United States. 2018; https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US. Accessed September 4, 2019.
- Diversity of the Physician Workforce: Facts and Figures 2018. 2018; http://aamcdiversityfactsandfigures.org/. Accessed March 26, 2020.
- org. Fact Sheet: The Need for Diversity in the Health Care Workforce. 2012; https://www.aapcho.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/NeedForDiversityHealthCareWorkforce.pdf. Accessed September 4, 2019.
- Pololi L, Cooper LA, Carr P. Race, disadvantage and faculty experiences in academic medicine. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;25(12):1363-1369.
- Mallery TA, Mittman IS, Castillo-Page L, Eliason J, Chapman Navarro JR. A Stochastic Model of Consensus Reaching in Committee Decisions for Faculty Advancement, Promotion and Tenure: Does Diversity Matter? J Natl Med Assoc.
- A novel enrichment program using cascading mentorship to increase diversity in the health care professions. Afghani B, Santos R, Angulo M, Muratori W.Acad Med. 2013 Sep;88(9):1232-8. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31829ed47e.PMID: 23887013