In 2016, recognizing the need for a more robust and diverse leadership pipeline for academic family medicine, the Council of Academic Family Medicine (CAFM), comprised of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM), the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD), the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG), and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM), created a Leadership Development Taskforce. The charge of the taskforce was to develop a plan to explore what we knew about leadership development for academic family medicine and to address gaps. (1) This taskforce identified their main question as, "How do we identify and sustain more people, particularly women and those underrepresented in medicine (URMs), through a leadership pathway in academic family medicine?" They also identified the need to create a culture conducive to developing and sustaining leaders of diverse backgrounds. This development may result from personal connections, nurturing, mentoring, and career navigation within the context of the 4 CAFM organizations' existing leadership development programming, including matching individuals with the right opportunity at the right time.
As part of their charge, the taskforce reviewed existing data pertaining to current and recent past leaders--who are they, how did they get there, how long do they stay--and identified gaps in available information. They developed recommendations for which data we need to collect and how. (1) In reviewing the data, the taskforce found that data on who assumes leadership roles and how long they stay in those roles is scanty and inconsistent across organizations and role types. The group acknowledged we often have sporadic snapshots for a year but no consistent tracking mechanism or longitudinal data. As such, one immediate recommendation from the taskforce in their final report was to:
"Track our current state of minority and underrepresented leaders within the four constituent groups in academic family medicine. It is critical that CAFM begin to measure at baseline and then track over time the emergence of women and minority faculty leaders into the 4 constituent roles (Chairs, PDs, Clerkship Directors and Research Directors)." (1)
Following this recommendation, in the spring of 2018 the CAFM organizations began to discuss strategies to achieve this goal. CAFM members realized that we were already gathering some demographic information about our members as part of our membership renewal and meeting registration processes. Together, the 4 organizations agreed that using the membership data would give timelier, trackable, and more complete data than a survey or other mechanism. We unanimously agreed to use membership data to:
1. Better understand the current diversity of key groups of leaders within academic family medicine
2. Set appropriate future diversity goals
3. Track progress towards increasing diversity
4. Determine the impact of diversity-focused interventions
We collectively agreed to publish aggregate data about each of the leadership groups in academic family medicine and to track these data over time with an annual "snapshot" to determine the impact of our efforts. The group believed that following the lead of other specialties such as OB/Gyn in tracking and publishing data would further...