Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity in Academic Family Medicine
Academic Medical Centers; Family Practice; Health Equity; Humans; Social Justice; Surveys and Questionnaires
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Diversity, inclusion, and health equity (DIHE) are integral to the practice of family medicine. Academic family medicine has been grappling with these issues in recent years, particularly with a focus on racism and health inequity. We studied the current state of DIHE activities in academic family medicine departments and suggest a framework for departments to become more diverse, inclusive, antiracist, and focused on health equity and racial justice. METHODS: As part of a larger annual membership survey, family medicine department chairs were asked for their assessment of departmental DIHE and antioppression activities, and infrastructure and resources committed to increasing DIHE. RESULTS: More than 60% of family medicine department chairs participating in this study rate their departments highly in promoting DIHE and antioppression, and 66% of chairs report an institutional infrastructure that is working well. Just over half of departments or institutions have had a climate survey in the past 3 years, 47.3% of departments have a diversity officer, and 26% of departments provide protected time or resources for a diversity officer. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of family medicine department chairs rate their departments highly on DIHE. However, only 50% of departments have formally assessed climate in the past 3 years, fewer have diversity officers, and even fewer invest resources in their diversity officers. This disconnect should motivate academic family medicine departments to undertake formal self-assessment and implement a strategic plan that includes resource investment in DIHE, measurable outcomes, and sustainability.
Jacobs CK, Douglas M, Ravenna P, et al. Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity in Academic Family Medicine. Fam Med. 2022;54(4):259-263. doi:10.22454/FamMed.2022.419971