Measuring Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine: The Diversity Engagement Survey


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Abstract

PurposeTo produce a physician and scientific workforce that advances high-quality research and culturally competent care, academic medical centers (AMCs) must assess their capacity for diversity and inclusion and leverage opportunities for improvement. The Diversity Engagement Survey (DES) is presented as a diagnostic and benchmarking tool.MethodThe 22-item DES consists of eight factors that connect engagement theory to inclusion and diversity constructs. It was piloted at 1 AMC and then administered at 13 additional U.S. AMCs in 2011–2012. Face and content validity were assessed through a review panel. Cronbach alpha was used to assess internal consistency. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to establish construct validity. Cluster analysis was conducted to establish ability of the DES to distinguish between institutions’ degrees of engagement and inclusion. Criterion validity was established using observed differences in scores for demographic groups as suggested by the literature.ResultsThe sample included 13,694 respondents across 14 AMCs. Cronbach alphas for the engagement and inclusion factors (range: 0.68–0.85), CFA fit indices, and item correlations with latent constructs indicated an acceptable model fit and that items measured the intended concepts. Cluster analysis of DES scores distinguished institutions with higher, middle, and lower degrees of engagement and inclusion by their respondents. Consistent with the literature, black, Hispanic/Latino, female, and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) respondents reported lower degrees of engagement than their counterparts.ConclusionsThe DES is a reliable and valid instrument for assessment, evaluation, and external benchmarking of institutional engagement and inclusion.

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