The communication of strategic plans for diversity and inclusion in academic medicine: a mixed-methods study
Washington, David MIchael
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OBJECTIVE: To characterize the use of strategic planning for diversity and inclusion in AAMC-member U.S. medical schools and its relation to underrepresented minority (URM) faculty. METHODS: We examined websites of 118 institutions for strategic plans to improve faculty diversity. Race/ethnicity data from the AAMC Faculty Roster were used to stratify schools into higher or lower/no increase in URM faculty (1998 to 2015). We searched for an association between these plans and change in URM faculty. We conducted qualitative sub-analyses of the most recent plans of institutions that expressed goals for faculty diversity. Analyses involved a modified-grounded theory approach, using a priori codes informed by an AAMC guide and a data-driven, constant comparison method. Plans were stratified into two groups by higher or lower URM faculty in 2015. Larger themes based on both a priori and emergent codes were identified. Sub-analyses for associations between AAMC Guide Adherence and URM faculty were conducted. RESULTS: Most institutions (72%) had plans for faculty diversity. There was no association between URM faculty change and a goal for faculty diversity (p=0.43) or plan duration (p=0.64). Qualitatively, four themes were accordant with effective strategic planning principles. Four emergent themes in both high and low URM groups reflected novel issues, two occurred in the low URM group, and one in the high URM group. Quantitative sub-analyses found no association between Guide Adherence and URM status (p= 0.86). CONCLUSION: Despite general adherence to best practices, strategic plans for diversity and inclusion are not associated with URM faculty presence or change.