JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Oct 3;5(10):e2238240. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.38240.
IMPORTANCE: Minoritized racial and ethnic groups remain underrepresented in medicine (UIM) compared with the general population. Although many residency programs want to train a diverse group of individuals, methods for implementation are not fully established.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the implementation and restructuring of the Boston Combined Residency Program (BCRP) Diversity Council and evaluate the association between restructuring the BCRP Diversity Council and the number of UIM interns.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted on a large academic pediatric residency program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center. Interns who matched in the BCRP from March 17, 2011, to March 18, 2021, were included. Interns who matched in an affiliated medicine-pediatrics residency were excluded because they are not universally exposed to the same recruitment efforts as individuals in the other BCRP tracks.
EXPOSURE: Because the BCRP Diversity Council was restructured in 2016, 2011-2016 was defined as the prerestructuring era and 2017-2021 as the postrestructuring era.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was the proportion of interns who self-identified as UIM.
RESULTS: A total of 516 BCRP interns from 2011 to 2021 were included. A total of 62 individuals (12.0%) identified as racial and ethnic identities UIM (ie, American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander). During the 6-year prerestructuring Diversity Council era, 27 of the 275 BCRP interns (9.8%) were UIM; 35 of 241 BCRP interns (14.5%) were UIM during the 5-year restructured Diversity Council era (χ2 P = .10).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cohort study, the number of UIM interns was higher after the BCRP Diversity Council was restructured, although the difference was not statistically significant. As the magnitude of the Diversity Council’s influence is multidimensional, perhaps studying additional aspects would have better captured its impact. The BCRP Diversity Council has expanded innovative recruitment initiatives, supported efforts to improve the resident experience, and collaborated with the residency and institutional leadership to promote an inclusive and antiracist learning environment.