Of the 17,642 women faculty, 2,835 (16.1 percent) are nonwhite (Figure 2-5). Most of this fraction are of Asian or Pacific Island descent (more than 9 percent of the total). Of the 57,007 male faculty, 7,105, or about 12.5 percent, are nonwhite (Figure 2-6). Here, too, most of the nonwhite male faculty (almost 8 percent of the total) is of Asian or Pacific Island descent. Only a small fraction of the men or women faculty are African American (1.9 and 3.7 percent, respectively).


Data on the research involvement of medical school faculty are sparse. The only comprehensive study of faculty research activity was conducted in 1986 by the Association of Professors of Medicine in conjunction with the AAMC, Research Activity of Full-Time Faculty in Departments of Medicine (Beaty et al., 1986; Association of American Medical Colleges, 1987). The parameters of research involvement were effort, funding, laboratory space, and publications. The study concluded that the median research effort of M.D. faculty in departments of medicine was 25 percent, compared with the 95 percent effort of Ph.D.s in the same departments. About 45 percent of the M.D.s and 68 percent of the M.D.-Ph.D.s reported that more than 20 percent of their effort was devoted to research. While 68 percent of the M.D. faculty had some form of external funding to support their research, only 23 percent of the M.D. faculty were principal investigators on an NIH grant. Twenty-five percent reported no research funding. Moreover, 34 percent of the M.D.s and 22 percent of the M.D.-Ph.D.s reported that they had no laboratory space. More striking was the fact that nearly half of the M.D. faculty had not published an original, peer-reviewed article (Association of American Medical Colleges, 1987). Ahrens has also reported that half of the clinical faculty in three departments of his three-department analysis did not publish at least one research article (Ahrens, 1992).

A 1989 follow-up study of internal medicine faculty revealed that there was no difference among M.D., M.D.-Ph.D., and Ph.D. faculty who had been or were principal investigators on a peer-reviewed research grant application (60, 61, and 58 percent, respectively). Although 52 percent of those conducting research were doing laboratory research, only 7 percent were performing patient-related research; 29 percent were involved in both (Levey et al., 1988).


Promotions committees, and particularly tenure committees at competitive medical schools, require proof of a candidate's scholarly contributions.

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