Study Finds Little Progress for African Americans in Academic Radiology

A new study by scholars at the medical schools of Yale University, Stanford University, and the University of Maryland, examines the progress of creating a more diverse U.S. academic radiology physician workforce in the context of the available pipeline of medical students and trainees. The researchers collected data on sex, race, and ethnicity among medical school applicants, graduates, radiology residency applicants, residents, and different levels of academic radiology faculty in 2010 and in 2019.

The study found that in 2010, Black made up 6.3 percent of all students entering U.S. medical schools. By 2019, Blacks were 7.1 percent of medical school matriculants. While slight progress was made, the percentage of Blacks among entering medical school students is only half of the level that would exist if there was parity with the Black percentage of the U.S. population.

In 2010, Blacks were only 3.1 percent of all residents in radiology. By 2019, 3.8 percent of the residents in radiology were Black.

In academic radiology in 2019, Blacks were 3 percent of the assistant professors and 2 percent of the associate professors and full professors. The proportion of Black or African American department chairs was 5 percent in 2019. These percentages have not changed significantly since 2010.

The authors conclude that “the low representation of African American individuals in academic radiology is seen at all levels and has not changed much over time. Efforts to increase diversity may need to be focused toward the medical school and residency application levels.”

The full study, “Diversity in Radiology: Current Status and Trends Over the Past Decade,” was published on the website of the Radiological Society of North America. It may be accessed here.

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