Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Faculty Diversity Trends by Sex, Race, and Ethnicity, 2007 to 2018 in the United States

Yanru Zhang, Julie K. Silver, Sabeen Tiwana, Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, Javed Siddiqi, Faisal Khosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Sex and race/ethnicity disparities persist in academic Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). This study contributes to the current body of knowledge by demonstrating changes in academic PM&R by sex and race/ethnicity in multiple categories over a 12-year period. Objective: To evaluate workforce disparities in academic PM&R by measuring sex and race/ethnicity diversity in academic degree, rank, and tenure status. Design: Surveillance study. Setting and Methods: Self-reported data for PM&R from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual Faculty Roster report from 2007 to 2018. Main Outcome Measures: The 12-year average percentage composition in academic degree, rank, and tenure status was calculated to compare the overall distribution. Counts and proportion changes were plotted to depict the temporal trends. Absolute changes in racial percentage composition were graphed to highlight the progress. Results: From 2007 to 2018, the increase by sex was roughly equal (male = 216; female = 236), whereas most of the increase was in White faculty (207). The representation of female and Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) faculty decreased as academic level advanced. Instructors is the only category with a higher proportion of female faculty, from 2007 (53%) to 2018 (59.3%), whereas male faculty occupied over 75% of the full professor positions at any time. Among the non-White faculty, Asian faculty had the greatest increase in proportion of full professors (3.7% to 10%) and Hispanic/Latino faculty in associate professors (2% to 7.1%), whereas full professors who were Black/African American decreased from 4 persons (2.5%) to 2 persons (0.8%). Conclusion: An increase in total number of female and URiM faculty was observed in academic PM&R over 2007 to 2018, but sex and ethnicity/race disparities persisted, especially in higher ranks and leadership positions. For non-White faculty, greater disparities existed, pointing toward the need to target challenges faced by URiM race/ethnicity status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1004
Number of pages11
JournalPM and R
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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