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South Med J. 2014 Mar;107(3):173-6. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0000000000000073.

Underrepresented minorities in academic medicine: is Florida better off?

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From the Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee.



The state of Florida has experienced challenges recruiting and retaining underrepresented minority faculty in academic medicine, as well as maintaining a population-like balance of minority physicians practicing in the state. We sought to quantify the percentage of practicing minority physicians as compared to the general population of Florida and focus specifically on black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander physicians in academic medicine. We hypothesized that because of the diversity of the state, the number of underrepresented minority academic physicians in Florida would be higher than the national average.


Data were derived and analyzed from a biennial survey initiated in 2007 that all physicians renewing licenses in Florida are required to complete. Fifty percent of the licensing cohort completes the survey annually. We focused on physician practice demographics and academic employment.


Blacks make up 15.4% of the state population, 6.4% of practicing physicians, but only 3.9% of academic physicians. Hispanics are 22.8% of the state population, 19.2% of practicing physicians, but only 12.5% of academic physicians. Asians are 2.5% of the state population, 14.4% of practicing physicians, and 12.6% of academic physicians. Whites are 58% of the state population, 52% of practicing physicians, and 65% of academic physicians.


There is disparity in clinical practice and academic medicine for blacks and Hispanics. Despite the diversity of the state, the disparity of blacks in academic medicine in Florida only marginally exceeds the national average. Asians and Hispanics make up the same percentage of academic physicians, but there are 10 times more Hispanics in the state. More research and programming are needed to further define and arrive at solutions to this problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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