Who We Are Today: a National Survey of Diversity Among Psychiatry Program Directors

Abstract

Objective

In March 2018, the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training (AADPRT) formed the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee. One of the committee’s goals was to understand the AADPRT membership’s composition and their perceptions of D&I. This study’s objective was to identify the demographic characteristics of the AADPRT membership.

Methods

Program directors were invited by email to participate in an anonymous survey. The survey collected participants’ demographic information including gender, race/ethnicity, training background, age, disability/differently abled status, job role, geographic region where their program is located, type of program, and their program’s community setting.

Results

Two hundred fifty six of 657 AADPRT members (39%) completed the survey. Respondents were mostly White (64.5%) followed by Asian/Southeast Asian (17.6%), Hispanic/Latinx (4.3%), and Black (1.6%). Only 13.3% of the participants were international medical graduates. Women were more prevalent (61.7%) than men (37.5%), and 9.4% self-identified as members of the LGBTQ+ Community.

Conclusions

This study represents the first systematic investigation into the diversity among psychiatry program directors throughout the USA and Canada. Future qualitative studies are needed to better understand the reasons behind this initial study’s findings. Potential concerns requiring exploration include the possibility of the program director role serving as a “glass ceiling” for some women and a “leaky pipeline” in academia for groups underrepresented in medicine.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge the AADPRT Executive Council and Steering Committee for their guidance in the development of the survey and Sara Stramel Brewer for her assistance in the survey distribution process and during the preparation of this manuscript.

Disclosures

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.

Dr. Flores receives financial support for his research from NIH (T32MH018268). Dr. Cagande receives book royalties from “Positive Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychology: Clinical Applications,” published by Springer Nature Publishing. Dr. Adams is the chair of the AADPRT Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Drs. Lee, Myint, Padilla Candelario, Bell Jr., and Cagande are members of the AADPRT Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Funding

Dr. Flores receives financial support for his research from NIH (T32MH018268).

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Correspondence to Paul C. Lee.

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Lee, P.C., Flores, J.M., Adams, A. et al. Who We Are Today: a National Survey of Diversity Among Psychiatry Program Directors. Acad Psychiatry 45, 43–48 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-021-01398-y

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Keywords

  • Cultural diversity
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Academic psychiatry
  • Underrepresented in medicine