UMass Medical Test Confirms Diversity in Medicine Is Still Lacking

They're using the Diversity Engagement Survey to see how inclusive medical centers are.

A new survey developed by UMass Medical School (UMMS) and The Association of American Medical Colleges is being used to assess diversity in academic medical centers across the  country.

The Diversity Engagement Survey was designed to assess academic medical centers’ “capacity for diversity” by asking staff members how inclusive they perceive the institution to be, and how engaged traditionally marginalized employees and community members feel. The results from its initial use at 14 academic medical centers, as published last week in Academic Medicine, pointed to significantly lower institutional engagement among respondents who were black, Hispanic or Latino, female, and LGBTQ—in other words, many institutions are still not handling diversity as well as they should be.

These findings, though consistent with existing literature and hypotheses about diversity in medicine, underscore a need to promote diverse participation in the medical community. The survey presents itself as a highly accurate “diagnostic and benchmark tool” to measure progress towards this goal.

According to a statement from UMMS, the Diversity Engagement Survey has value beyond educational and medical settings; it can be used within any institution working toward becoming a more inclusive space.

Those who choose to use the survey will be able to measure different demographics’ levels of participation in their environment, as well as the specific areas where they might need to improve. These could include concerns related to stereotypes, a lack of diverse role models, and economic constraints, among others.