The following is the summary of “Trends in Racial and Gender Profiles of United States Academic Emergency Medicine Faculty: Cross-Sectional Survey From 2007 to 2018” published in the November 2022 issue of Emergency Medicine by Shaikh, et al.

There have been multiple reports of inequalities in academic medicine. This study examined the gender and racial imbalance of academic emergency medicine (EM) faculty positions in the United States from 2007 to 2018. The major goal was to determine the racial/ethnic/gender breakdowns of EM faculty members at different levels of academic rank. Secondary to this primary goal was to characterize the distribution of race and gender across academic ranks and levels of education. 

Researchers used information compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges to conduct a retrospective study. Researchers used basic descriptive statistics and time series analysis to examine the dynamics of racial and gender disparities in tenure, degree attainment, and professional standing in the academy. On average, White doctors made up 75% of the faculty, while men made up 67.5%. The percentage of Asian faculty members in the lower echelons of academia climbed, and the percentage of underrepresented minority groups did as well, but to a lesser extent. There was a statistically significant upward trend in the percentage of Asian professors holding the position of instructor (t=0.02; P=0.034; 95% CI 0.05-1.03). Over the study period, the proportion of women in academic positions decreased significantly (t= -0.01; P<0.001; 95% CI 0.68-0.75). 

The majority of academic physicians and professors were white men, and the majority of professors were men regardless of academic rank. Results show that while the amount of women and people of color in emergency medicine faculty has increased, the problem remains serious. More research is required to understand and remedy the factors contributing to these variations.