The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) medical student Austin Morgan’s results from his study on diversity among cancer centers’ leadership.
The study, conducted in August 2020, examines racial, ethnic and gender representation in leadership positions at National Cancer Institute-Designated cancer centers. It appeared in the association’s weekly, online JAMA Network Open, an international, peer-reviewed, open access, general medical journal that focuses on original research articles and commentary on a variety of medical and health topics.
Morgan’s paper, “Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Representation in Leadership Positions at National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Centers,” examined diversity of the centers’ leadership teams along with the populations each center serves. The study was supported by a National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute grant. Morgan is a rising, third-year medical student from Bentonville.
The study found that in the highest levels of cancer center leadership, non-Hispanic, white men were overrepresented, while Black, Hispanic and Asian leaders were not represented in a way that corresponded in size or amount to population data. Of the 63 centers assessed, 23 centers (36 percent) did not have a single Black or Hispanic member of their leadership team. Centers with more women leaders and institutions in the South were more likely to have diverse leadership teams. However, a center being in a diverse city did not make it more likely to have a more diverse leadership. Instead, it found Black leaders to be rare, even in cities with large Black populations.