Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity in Academic Family Medicine

Document Type


Publication Date



Family Medicine

Journal Title

Family medicine

MeSH Headings

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.

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