Many programs struggle to recruit, select, and match a diverse class of residents, and the most effective strategies for holistic review of applications to enhance diversity are not clear.


We determined if holistic pediatric residency application review guided by frameworks that assess for bias along structural, interpersonal, and individual levels would increase the number of matched residents from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in medicine (UiM).


Between 2017 and 2020, University of California San Francisco Pediatrics Department identified structural, interpersonal, and individual biases in existing selection processes and developed mitigation strategies in each area. Interventions included creating a shared mental model of desirable qualities in residents, employing a new scoring rubric, intentional inclusion of UiM faculty and trainees in the selection process, and requiring anti-bias training for everyone involved with recruitment and selection.


Since implementing these changes, the percentage of entering interns who self-identify as UIM increased from 11% in 2015 to 45% (OR 6.8; P = .008) in 2019 and to 35% (OR 4.6, P = .035) in 2020.


Using an equity framework to guide implementation of a pediatric residency program's holistic review of applications increased the numbers of matched UiM residents over a 3-year period.

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Author notes

All authors are with the University of California San Francisco. Jyothi Marbin, MD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Associate Program Director, Pediatrics Residency Program; Glenn Rosenbluth, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics; Rachel Brim, MD, is a Neonatology Fellow; Edward Cruz, MD, MPH, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Alma Martinez, MD, MPH, is Professor of Pediatrics; and Margaret McNamara, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics, and Program Director, Pediatrics Residency Program.