A continuation of my new series about promoting diversity among our physicians at BIDMC. Please take a moment to read the thoughtful comments offered by readers after the last post. One commenter questioned the validity of my premise that we want greater diversity, but I am going to proceed on the assumption that we do. Feel free, though, to offer alternative points of view. And please be sure to read Jon's comments on the topic, which gives a helpful national perspective on the pool of applicants to medical school and the resulting difficulty that presents as we move along the pipeline to residency programs.
I promised I would give you some numbers, and here they are, as of November 2007. Thanks to Dr. Rosemary Duda, the Director of our Center for Faculty Development, for assembling these.
We have 744 clinical residents spread throughout our 13 academic departments. As I mentioned below, the gender mix is excellent, but the percentage of underrepresented minorities is small.
Male -- 370 (49.7%)
Female -- 374 (50.3%)
White -- 464 (62.4%)
Black -- 26 (3.5%)
Asian/Pacific Islands -- 193 (25.9%)
Hispanic -- 33 (4.4%)
American Indian -- 0 (0.0%)
Other -- 28 (3.8%)
Here is the pattern among the 487 BIDMC research fellows. Some of these are MDs, and some are not.
Male -- 280 (57.5%)
Female -- 207 (42.5%)
White -- 215 (44.1%)
Black -- 7 (1.4%)
Asian/Pacific Islands -- 234 (48.1%)
Hispanic -- 17 (3.5%)
American Indian -- 2 (0.4%)
Other -- 12 (2.5%)
Acknowledging these numbers, our graduate medical education (GME) office has encouraged the creation and support of a BIDMC Diversity Committee, which is primarily a resident committee, but also has some faculty membership and mentoring. One of our fine young doctors, Sean Kelly, currently serves as faculty advisor and one of our BIDMC residents, Alden Landry, is serving as Chairman of the committee. They collaborate with the Office for Diversity and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School and the minority affairs and diversity offices at the other HMS hospitals.
Rather than summarizing all their activities, I'll invite Sean and Alden and any other committee members and any of our other residents and fellows to post their own comments. I also invite people at other hospitals here in Boston or elsewhere to post their thoughts on the matter. What works? What doesn't? Are there success stories from elsewhere that can help inform our programs?