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Program Evaluation of the Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity (RAPID): Impact on Career Development and Professional Society Diversity.

  • Flores, Glenn1
  • Mendoza, Fernando2
  • Brimacombe, Michael B3
  • Frazier, Willie 3rd4
  • 1 G. Flores is director, Health Services Research Institute, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, Connecticut, professor, Department of Pediatrics, UConn Health, Farmington, Connecticut, and director and principal investigator, Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity.
  • 2 F. Mendoza is professor of pediatrics and associate dean of minority advising and programs, Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford, California, and co-director, Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity.
  • 3 M.B. Brimacombe is senior biostatistician, Department of Research, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, Connecticut.
  • 4 W. Frazier III is research program manager, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, Connecticut.
Published Article
Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003531
PMID: 32496290


Despite a demographic surge in U.S. minority children, pediatric workforce diversity has failed to keep pace. The study aim was to evaluate the Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity (RAPID), a research-education program aimed at recruiting, retaining, and professionally advancing diverse early-career faculty in general pediatrics who are pursuing research careers. RAPID includes the following components: small research grants, mentoring by nationally renowned senior investigators, mentoring and networking at an annual breakfast, an annual career-development conference, and monthly mentoring conference calls. Outcomes data from the first 5 years (2012-2017) of RAPID were analyzed. Data sources were Academic Pediatric Association (APA) membership data and postconference, baseline, and end-of-program/follow-up surveys. Outcome measures included mentoring quality, presentations, publications, subsequent grants, impact on career success, conference ratings, and APA membership diversity. For the 10 Scholars from the first 4 cohorts, mean scores were 4.5 (5 = strongly agree) for RAPID fostering mentoring, developing research skills, and helping Scholars feel more comfortable as underrepresented minority (URM) faculty; 78% delivered platform or poster presentations on their project. They published 56 total articles and received a mean of 2.5 subsequent grants. Their mean score for RAPID "advancing my career by facilitating promotion or getting a job" was 4.6. The first 4 RAPID Conferences were highly rated (mean scores = 4.2-4.8) and brought in 33 additional URM young investigators. Pre-RAPID, URM APA membership stagnated at 6%-7% for 5 years. In RAPID's first year, URM APA membership rose to 8%, then to 10% by 2017 (43% increase; P < .001). RAPID Scholars generated multiple presentations and publications. RAPID mentoring and Conferences were highly rated. RAPID was associated with career advancement and increased professional society diversity. RAPID could serve as a national model for enhancing URM career development and professional society diversity. Copyright © 2020 by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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