Focusing on Diversity: A Regional Internal Medicine Residency Viewpoint on Underrepresented Minority Support, Retention, and Mentoring.
BACKGROUND: While the overall percentage of residents who withdraw (2.7%) or take extended leave (1.0%) are low, subgroup analysis has found that minority physicians are approximately 30% more likely to withdraw from residency than their white counterparts and 8 times more likely to take extended leave of absence. With ongoing national efforts to support diversity in medical education through increased recruitment of underrepresented in medicine (UiM) students to residency programs, there is paucity of data identifying specific experiences challenging or contributing to their overall resiliency. Better understanding of the lived experience of UiM residents will allow residency programs to create successful curricular programing and support structures for residents to thrive. OBJECTIVE: We sought to understand UiM internal medicine residents' experiences during residency training. METHODS: We used a retrospective review of focus group transcripts of UiM internal medicine residents from 5 academic institutions in 2017 (4 in North Carolina and 1 in Georgia). RESULTS: Of 100 self-identified UiM residents from 5 institutions, 59 participated in the focus groups. Using a consensus-based review of transcripts, 25 distinct codes in 8 parent code categories were determined. Two primary themes emerged: resilience and isolation. Three secondary themes-social support, mentorship, and external expectations and/or biases-served as mediators for the primary themes. CONCLUSIONS: UiM residents who became or were already resilient commonly experienced isolation at some time in their medical career, specifically during residency. Moreover, they could be influenced and positively or negatively affected by social support, mentorship, and external expectations and biases.
Harris, R; Covington, K; Colford, C; Denizard-Thompson, N; Contarino, M; Evans, K; Zaas, A; Kraemer, MS; McNeill, D
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