Tenure Trends in Academic Emergency Medicine Departments in U.S. Medical Schools

Imam M. Xierali, Marc A. Nivet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective was to assess the long-term trends in tenure status stratified by sex and underrepresented in medicine (URM) status among emergency medicine (EM) department faculty in U.S. medical schools. Methods: This study used the Association of American Medical Colleges Faculty Roster to study trends in tenure status of full-time faculty from 1989 to 2018. The numbers and proportions of faculty by tenure status were studied over the years and compared across sex and URM minority status. Two-independent-sample t-test and simple linear regression were used for statistical comparisons. Results: The number of EM faculty increased from 177 in 1989 to 5,237 in 2018, with the majority of increase in nontenured (from 120 to 4,485) rather than tenured (from 24 to 198) or tenure track (from 28 to 548) faculty. The proportions of tenure-line faculty increased briefly from 1989 (29.4%) to 1994 (32.5%) and decreased since to 14.2% in 2018. The decreases were greater among men (from 34.5% to 14.9%) or non-URM (from 32.7% to 14.1%) than women (from 24.8% to 13.1%) or URM (from 30.2% to 15.3%). Compared to other academic departments, EM departments had the second lowest proportion of tenure-line faculty in 2018. Conclusion: Emergency medicine faculty size increased rapidly in the past 30 years, with the vast majority of growth in nontenured faculty, regardless of sex or URM status. This highlights the need to review career development and academic promotions for EM particularly among nontenured faculty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-211
Number of pages10
JournalAEM Education and Training
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Education
  • Emergency


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