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Fam Med. 2014 Feb;46(2):100-4.

Underrepresented minority faculty in academic medicine: a systematic review of URM faculty development.

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Department of Family Medicine and Rural Health, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.



Retention and recruitment of minority faculty members continues to be a concern of medical schools because there is higher attrition and talent loss among this group. While much has been written, there has not been a systematic review published on this topic. This is the first study to use evidence-based medicine (EBM) criteria and apply it to this issue.


We searched MEDLINE, Web of Knowledge, ProQuest, and Google Scholar for papers relating to the recruitment and retention of minority faculty. We then graded the evidence using the EBM criteria as defined by the American Academy of Family Physicians. The same criteria were applied to extract evidence-based observations of problems in recruitment and retention for minority faculty.


Of the 548 studies identified and reviewed, 11 met inclusion criteria for this literature review. This article presents the data from the reviewed papers that described or evaluated minority faculty development programs. Faculty development programs in 15 different institutions showed mentoring and faculty development for minority faculty could increase retention, academic productivity, and promotion rates for this group.


For medical schools to be successful in retention and recruitment of minority medical school faculty, specific programs need to be in place. Overall evidence is strong that faculty development programs and mentoring programs increase retention, productivity, and promotion for this group of medical faculty. This paper is a call to action for more faculty development and mentorship programs to reduce the disparities that exist between minority faculty and all other faculty members.

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