Views of Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program Directors Regarding Methods to Increase Female and Under-Represented in Medicine Residents: A Cross-sectional Study

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Academic radiology


RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Diagnostic radiology remains one of the least diverse medical specialties. Recent reports have found that the number of female and under-represented in medicine (URiM) residents have not increased despite efforts to increase representation over the last decade. Given the critical role of residency program directors in selecting diverse applicants, this study was performed to identify which strategies were most preferred to increase the number of female and/or URiM residents by directors of diagnostic radiology residency training programs.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was an anonymous, cross-sectional study of diagnostic radiology residency program directors that included a survey about program characteristics, demographics, and strategies to increase the number of female and/or URiM residents.

RESULTS: The questionnaire was submitted to 181 potential participants with a 19.9% response rate. The most preferred strategies to increase diversity involved directly recruiting medical students, promoting mentorship, increasing the number of diverse teaching faculty, and unconscious bias training. The least supported strategies included deemphasizing exam scores, accepting more international graduates, accepting a minimum number of female and/or URiM applicants, and de-identifying applications. Female and/or URiM program directors indicated a statistically significant preference for medical student recruitment and providing an opportunity to discuss workplace issues for female and/or URiM trainees (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Diagnostic radiology residency program directors endorsed a wide variety of strategies to increase diversity. Recruitment of female and/or URiM medical students and promoting the number of diverse faculty members and mentorship of trainees by these faculty appear to be the most preferred strategies to increase female and/or URiM residents. Female and/or URiM program directors placed a greater importance on recruiting diverse applicants and supporting safe discussion of workplace issues faced by female and/or URiM radiology residents.

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ePub ahead of print