We all know that several sizable subgroups of the American population—principally
African Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and mainland Puerto
Ricans—remain severely underrepresented in the medical profession. Although
they comprise almost a quarter of our countrymen and women, these subgroups
of our population constitute less than 8% of practicing physicians.1 For academic medicine, the figures are even more disconcerting.
Individuals from these underrepresented minority groups make up barely 3%
of full-time faculty members in US medical schools (excluding historically
black and Puerto Rican medical schools).2 Now
comes word that this small group of minority scholars suffers from more than
loneliness in our nation's medical schools; evidence is now at hand suggesting
that underrepresented minority faculty with academic credentials comparable
to their nonminority colleagues also have less success in gaining the upper
rungs of the academic ladder.
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