J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Jun 18. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06825-2. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: To increase diversity and inclusion in graduate medical education, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) issued a revision to their Common Program Requirements during the 2019-2020 academic year mandating that all residency programs must have policies and practices to achieve appropriate diversity among trainees and faculty.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the perspectives of internal medicine program directors (PDs) and associate program directors (APDs) on the ACGME diversity standard.
DESIGN: Qualitative study of internal medicine residency program leadership from academic and community programs across the USA.
PARTICIPANTS: Current PDs (n = 12) and APDs (n = 8) of accredited US internal medicine residency programs.
APPROACH: We conducted semi-structured, in-depth qualitative interviews. Data was analyzed using the constant comparative method to extract recurrent themes.
KEY RESULTS: Three main themes, described by participants, were identified: (1) internal medicine PDs and APDs had limited knowledge of the new Common Program Requirement relating to diversity; (2) program leaders expressed concern that the diversity standard reaches beyond the PDs' scope of influence and lack of institutional commitment to the successful implementation of diversity standards; (3) participants described narrow view of diversity and inclusion efforts focusing on recruitment strategies during the interview season.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings of lack of familiarity with the new diversity standards, and limited institutional investment in diversity and inclusion efforts raise a concern about successful implementation across GME programs. Nevertheless, our finding suggests that structured implementation in the form of education, guideposts, and financial allocation can alleviate some of the concerns of program leadership in meeting the new ACGME diversity standard in a meaningful way.