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Faculty Equity, Diversity, Culture and Climate Change in Academic Medicine: A Longitudinal Study.


There is a national call for academic medicine to use evidence-based initiatives to improve its culture and climate. The authors report data-driven policy and programmatic interventions that were associated with increased faculty diversity, equity, respectful behavior and improved faculty climate, at UC San Diego Health Sciences.


Based on demographic and survey data, interventions were designed to improve the climate between 2005 and 2015. Interventions included routine measuring and dissemination of demographic data, changes and dissemination of policy and procedures, and new and improved faculty development programming. Impact was measured using demographic data over time, salary equity studies, and school-wide climate surveys in 2005, 2011, and 2015. Specific outcomes included measures of diversity, salary equity, behavior, and climate.


Over the ten-year period, the proportion of women increased from 16% to 23% of tenure/tenure-track faculty and 31%-40% of all faculty. Underrepresented minority faculty increased from less than 1%-7% of tenure/tenure-track faculty and from 5% to 8% of all faculty. While women continued to be paid less than men, the adjusted difference dropped from 23% to 12%. Reports of inappropriate behavior by faculty decreased significantly, while satisfaction and knowledge about institutional mentoring and resources improved.


Multiple interventions including new faculty development programs, changes in policy, and measuring demographics/climate supported diverse faculty recruitment, enhanced a culture of respect and improved faculty morale. Cultural changes in policy, periodic faculty data collection with dissemination, and increased faculty development, improve the climate in academic medicine.

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