Diversity in the Emerging Critical Care Workforce: Analysis of Demographic Trends in Critical Care Fellows From 2004 to 2014

In Critical Care Medicine, Meghan Lane-Fall and colleagues, including Jaya Aysola, analyzed demographic trends in critical care fellowship programs from 2004-2014. They used logistic regression models to compare annual trends in the representation of women and racial/ethnic groups across critical care fellowship types. From 2004 to 2014, the number of critical care fellows increased annually, up 54.1% from 1,606 in 2004-2005 to 2,475 in 2013-2014. The proportion of female critical care fellows increased from 29.5% (2004-2005) to 38.3% (2013-2014).The absolute number of black fellows increased each year but the percentage change was not statistically significantly different (5.1% in 2004-2005 vs 3.9% in 2013-2014). Hispanic fellows increased in number from 124 (7.7%) in 2004-2005 to 216 (8.4%) in 2013-2014. The number of American Indian/Alaskan Native/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander fellows decreased from 15 (1.0%) to seven (0.3%). When compared with population estimates, female critical care fellows and those from racial/ethnic minorities were underrepresented in the emerging intensivist workforce in all years. Trends highlight increases in women and Hispanics and stable or decreasing representation of non-Hispanic underrepresented minority critical care fellows. Diversity in the physician workforce is essential to providing culturally effective care. Further research is needed to elucidate the reasons underlying persistent underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in critical care fellowship programs.