Institutional solutions addressing disparities in compensation and advancement of emergency medicine physicians: A critical appraisal of gaps and associated recommendations

Tracy E. Madsen, Sheryl Heron, Michelle D. Lall, Andra Blomkalns, Christian Arbelaez, Bernard Lopez, Michelle Lin, Kirsten Rounds, Kinjal N. Sethuraman, Basmah Safdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Disparities in salary and advancement of emergency medicine (EM) faculty by race and gender have been consistently demonstrated for over three decades. Prior studies have largely focused on individual-level solutions. To identify systems-based interventions, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) formed the Research Equity Task Force in 2018 with members from multiple academies (the Academy of Academic Chairs in Emergency Medicine [AACEM], the Academy of Academic Administrators in Emergency Medicine [AAAEM], the Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine [AWAEM], and the Academy for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Medicine [ADIEM]) and sought recommendations from EM departmental leaders. Methods: The task force conducted interviews containing both open-ended narrative and closed-ended questions in multiple phases. Phase 1 included a convenience sample of chairs of EM departments across the United States, and phase 2 included vice-chairs and other faculty who lead promotion and advancement. The task force identified common themes from the interviews and then developed three-tiered sets of recommendations (minimal, target, and aspirational) based on participant responses. In phase 3, iterative feedback was collected and implemented on these recommendations from study participants and chairs participating in a national AACEM webinar. Results: In findings from 53 interviews of chairs, vice-chairs, and faculty leaders from across the United States, we noted heterogeneity in the faculty development and promotion processes across institutions. Four main themes were identified from the interviews: the need for a directed, structured promotion process; provision of structured mentorship; clarity on requirements for promotion within tracks; and transparency in salary structure. Recommendations were developed to address gaps in structured mentorship and equitable promotion and compensation. Conclusions: These recommendations for AEM departments have the potential to increase structured mentorship programs, improve equity in promotion and advancement, and reduce disparities in the AEM workforce. These recommendations have been endorsed by SAEM, AACEM, AWAEM, ADIEM, and AAAEM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-718
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

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