Ethnic and racial diversity in academic physical medicine and rehabilitation compared with all other medical specialties

Ashley N. Sanchez, Claudia I. Martinez, Argyrios Stampas, Claudia Pedroza, Miguel X. Escalon, Julie K. Silver, Joel Frontera, Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The primary aim of this study was to compare ethnic/racial diversity in academic physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) with all other medical specialties in academia. The secondary aim was to characterize the ethnic/racial diversity of current PM&R program directors. Self-reported ethnicity/race information was collected from the Association of American Medical Colleges and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Ethnicity/race was defined as white, Asian, African American, Hispanic, and other. Odds ratios (ORs) and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare ethnic/ racial differences at each career level between each specialty. In 2017, in PM&R, compared with whites, there was decreased odds of African Americans by 89% (OR, 0.11), 90% for Hispanics (OR, 0.10), 62% for Asians (OR, 0.38), and 73% for other (OR, 0.27) (all P < 0.001). This disparity increased in full professors: 99% (OR, 0.01), 96% (OR, 0.04), 87% (OR, 0.13), and 90% (OR, 0.10), respectively (all P < 0.001). In 2019, most PM&R program directors identified as white (51%) compared with Hispanic (4%) and African American (2%). Overall, ethnic/racial underrepresented minorities in medicine decreased with increasing academic rank. Therefore, more robust initiatives must be implemented to improve the exposure, recruitment, and retention of ethnic/racial underrepresented minorities at all levels of PM&R academia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S12-S16
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number2S
StatePublished - 2021


  • Academic Faculty
  • Ethnic/Racial Diversity
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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