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JAMA Netw Open. 2018 Sep 7;1(5):e182723. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.2723.

Minority Resident Physicians' Views on the Role of Race/Ethnicity in Their Training Experiences in the Workplace.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
3
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.
4
Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Abstract

Importance:

Black, Hispanic, and Native American physicians remain underrepresented in medicine despite national efforts to increase diversity in the health care workforce. Understanding the unique workplace experiences of minority physicians is essential to inform strategies to create a diverse and inclusive workforce. While prior research has explored the influence of race/ethnicity on the experiences of minority faculty and medical students, there is a paucity of literature investigating how race/ethnicity affects the training experiences of resident physicians in graduate medical education.

Objective:

To characterize how black, Hispanic, and Native American resident physicians experience race/ethnicity in the workplace.

Design, Setting, and Participants:

Semistructured, in-depth qualitative interviews of black, Hispanic, and Native American residents were performed in this qualitative study. Interviews took place at the 2017 Annual Medical Education Conference (April 12-17, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia), sponsored by the Student National Medical Association. Interviews were conducted with 27 residents from 21 residency programs representing a diverse range of medical specialties and geographic locations.

Main Outcomes and Measures:

The workplace experiences of black, Hispanic, and Native American resident physicians in graduate medical education.

Results:

Among 27 participants, races/ethnicities were 19 (70%) black, 3 (11%) Hispanic, 1 (4%) Native American, and 4 (15%) mixed race/ethnicity; 15 (56%) were female. Participants described the following 3 major themes in their training experiences in the workplace: a daily barrage of microaggressions and bias, minority residents tasked as race/ethnicity ambassadors, and challenges negotiating professional and personal identity while seen as "other."

Conclusions and Relevance:

Graduate medical education is an emotionally and physically demanding period for all physicians. Black, Hispanic, and Native American residents experience additional burdens secondary to race/ethnicity. Addressing these unique challenges related to race/ethnicity is crucial to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment.

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