Previous studies have suggested that minority medical
are at a disadvantage in promotion opportunities compared with
To compare promotion rates of minority and white medical
in the United States.
Design and Setting
Analysis of data from the Association of American Medical
Faculty Roster System, the official data system for tracking US
A total of 50,145 full-time US medical school faculty who
professors or associate professors between 1980 and 1989.
Faculty of historically
black and Puerto Rican medical schools were excluded.
Main Outcome Measures
Attainment of associate or full professorship among
and full professorship among associate professors by 1997, among
or Pacific Islander (API), underrepresented minority (URM;
Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Native American, and Native
other Hispanic faculty.
By 1997, 46% of white assistant professors (13,479/28,953)
promoted, whereas 37% of API (1123/2997; P<.001),
30% of URM (311/1053, P<.001), and
43% of other
Hispanic assistant professors (256/598; P = .07)
had been promoted. Similarly, by 1997, 50% of white associate
had been promoted, whereas 44% of API (629/1419; P<.001),
36% of URM (101/280; P<.001), and
43% of other
Hispanic (122/286; P = .02) associate
had been promoted. Racial/ethnic disparities in promotion were
tenure and nontenure faculty and among faculty who received and
did not receive
National Institutes of Health research awards. After adjusting
sex, tenure status, degree, department, medical school type, and
NIH awards, URM faculty remained less likely to be promoted
white faculty (relative risk [RR], 0.68 [99% confidence interval
for assistant professors and 0.81 [99% CI, 0.65-0.99] for
API assistant professors also were less likely to be promoted
(RR, 0.91 [99%
CI, 0.84-0.98]), whereas API associate professors and other
and associate professors were promoted at comparable
Our data indicate that minority faculty are promoted at
compared with white faculty.