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Perspectives on Anti-Black Racism and Mitigation Strategies Among Faculty Experts at Academic Medical Centers.

Konuthula D, de Abril Cameron F, Jonassaint N, Ufomata E, Torres O, Essien UR, Hamm ME, Merlin J, Ragavan MI. Perspectives on Anti-Black Racism and Mitigation Strategies Among Faculty Experts at Academic Medical Centers. JAMA Network Open. 2022 Apr 1; 5(4):e228534.

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Abstract:

Importance: Black faculty and trainees remain underrepresented in academic medicine because of systemic racism. Years of diversity and inclusion efforts have not succeeded in eliminating the unique challenges faced by Black faculty in academic medicine. Objectives: To elicit expert faculty perspectives on anti-Black racism in academic medicine based on lived and/or professional experience and to solicit recommendations for an intervention for faculty to dismantle anti-Black racism within academic medical centers. Design, Setting, and Participants: This qualitative study included semistructured interviews with experts in understanding and dismantling anti-Black racism within academic medical centers. Participants had expertise in anti-Black racism through their lived experience as a Black faculty member and/or professional experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Participants were recruited from academic medical centers from around the United States. Interviews were conducted through an online meeting platform, audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and subsequently coded following an inductive qualitative description approach. Interviews were completed between October 2020 and March 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes include the experiences of Black faculty and trainees in academic medicine and recommendations for developing an intervention to dismantle anti-Black racism within academic medicine. Results: A total of 16 participants completed this study; most identified as Black or African American (9 [56%]) and female (10 [63%]). Results were sorted into 2 content domains, with several themes within those domains: (1) barriers faced by Black faculty and trainees and potential solutions and (2) recommendations for an intervention directed at faculty to dismantle anti-Black racism in academic medicine. Barriers faced by Black faculty and trainees included lack of representation; challenges with the recruitment, retention, and promotion of Black faculty; and experiences of microaggressions and overt racism. Participants suggested that an intervention should have a comprehensive learning objective; be mandatory for all faculty, with the exception of Black faculty; draw from outside expertise; and receive allocation of resources and funding equal to other important training modules. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this study affirm prior work about the unique challenges faced by Black faculty and trainees in academic medicine because of interpersonal and institutional racism and build on this prior work by soliciting recommendations to guide intervention development. An intervention to dismantle anti-Black racism within academic medicine is urgently needed and will require leadership buy-in and financial commitments from institutions for effective development and implementation.





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