Colo. (Nov. 11, 2015) – Members of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the
University of Colorado School of Medicine have developed a multifaceted effort
aimed at increasing diversity among medical residents.
details of the program and the results of a pilot intervention are outlined in
an article published Tuesday in Academic Medicine, the journal of the
Association of American Medical Colleges.
academic year 2012-2013, the CU Department of Emergency Medicine and the Denver
Health Residency in Emergency Medicine program formed a diversity committee to
increase the number of residency candidates from minorities who interviewed and
matched to the residency program.
actions taken by the committee included:
Scholarship-based externships providing up to $1,500 for underrepresented minority medical students to help cover the costs of travel and housing expenses during their rotation.
A funded second-look program to bring nine students back to Colorado to look again at the residency program. By funding up to a total $11,090 for flights and hotels for those students, they could participate in two days of activities including introductions to underrepresented minority faculty members, presentations regarding global health programs, procedure labs and events with current residents and other health care community representatives.
the involvement of underrepresented faculty in recruitment efforts,
including writing letters of evaluation for the participants in the
externships and follow-up phone calls.
year later, the percentage of underrepresented minority candidates interviewed
for the residency program doubled. And in academic year 2013-14, 23.5 percent
of all new residents in the program were from underrepresented minorities,
compared with 5.6 percent the previous year.
program is central to who we are as a specialty,” said Richard Zane, MD,
chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the CU School of Medicine.
“Addressing disparities in healthcare providers is just one of the many ways we
can begin to address disparities in the provision of healthcare.”
of the paper’s authors, Jeffrey Druck, MD, associate professor of emergency
medicine and the associate residency director of the Denver Health Residency in
Emergency Medicine, said there is a critical need increase the diversity of
physicians in the emergency department.
departments provide care to the most diverse and resource-poor patient
populations, yet the discipline of emergency medicine is lagging behind in
training a diverse physician workforce,” Druck said.
to a recent study, 17 percent to 23 percent of obstetrics-gynecology, family
medicine and pediatric physicians are underrepresented minorities, compared
with 13 percent of emergency medicine physicians.
work for this pilot intervention was funded by the National Association of
Health Service Executives and Elbra Wedgeworth, chief of government and
community relations at Denver Health, in additional to departmental funding
from the emergency departments at Denver Health and the CU School of Medicine.
and the other eight authors listed on the article conclude that additional
studies are needed to determine whether the results of this pilot intervention
are sustainable and whether they can be used in other residency programs in
emergency medicine. They also note that the effort “may be a promising approach
for increasing diversity in emergency medicine and other residencies, so that
our educational, patient care, and community service goals can be achieved.
article is posted online at http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/publishahead/Increasing_Resident_Diversity_in_an_Emergency.98648.aspx