Reaping What We Sow: The Emerging Academic Medicine Workforce
National efforts to increase diversity of academic medicine faculty led us to study the evolution of medical graduates' academic medicine career intentions. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 1997-2004 U.S. allopathic medical graduates who completed both the Association of American Medical Colleges' Matriculating Student Questionnaire and Graduation Questionnaire, categorizing the evolution of academic medicine career intentions (sustained, emerging, diminished and no intent) by similarities/differences in graduates' responses to the career choice question on both questionnaires. Multivariable logistic regression models identified independent predictors of sustained and emerging intent (compared with no intent) and diminished intent (compared with sustained intent). Of 87,763 graduates, 67% indicated no intent, 20% emerging intent, 8% sustained intent and 5% diminished intent to pursue an academic medicine career. Asians were more likely and underrepresented minorities less likely to have sustained and emerging intent. Women were more likely to have emerging intent. Graduates planning more extensive career involvement in research at matriculation and reporting greater satisfaction with the quality of their medical education, higher clinical clerkship ratings, and lower debt were more likely to have sustained and emerging intent and less likely to have diminished intent. Graduates planning to practice in underserved areas and choosing family medicine were less likely to have sustained and emerging intent and more likely to have diminished intent (all p < 0.05). Findings can inform efforts to develop an academic medicine workforce that can meet our nation's healthcare needs and more equitably reflect the diversity of our society and medical student population.
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