Key Initiatives

Underrepresented in Medicine Initiative

The STFM Underrepresented in Medicine (URM) Initiative, supported by the STFM Foundation, is working to:

  • Increase the percentage of URM family medicine faculty, and
  • Increase the number of solutions-focused, adaptable URM leaders within and across our healthcare system

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) definition of underrepresented in medicine is:

"Underrepresented in medicine means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population."1

A diverse workforce of family medicine physicians and faculty is required to support the future of health care and the needs of a diverse patient population. URM faculty members collectively make up only 9.4% of academic medicine while representing almost 33% of the national population.2,3 In recognition of this, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) has committed to developing strategies and providing resources to increase the number of underrepresented in medicine (URM) family medicine educators. 

A Letter from STFM President Tricia Elliott, MD, on Social Justice

Areas of Focus and Oversight Committee

The URM Initiative is focusing on the following four areas to develop, disseminate, and execute strategies to increase the diversity of family medicine educators and promote health equity: 

  • Mentorship
    • Create opportunities for developing meaningful relationships that lead to career advancement and leadership within STFM and academic medicine
    • Develop mentors who have the skills to help URM students, residents, and faculty improve resiliency, satisfaction, and retention in academic family medicine
  • Leadership
    • Increase the percentage of URM family medicine faculty in leadership positions in academic medicine
    • Raise awareness of the structural barriers to URM achievement
  • URM Faculty Pipeline
    • Increase the percentage of URM students and URM family medicine residents with an interest in teaching
    • Increase the percentage of URM family medicine faculty
    • Increase the percentage of URM community preceptors in family medicine teaching sites who receive resources to improve their teaching skills
  • Scholarship
    • Increase the percentage of URM students, residents, and faculty who have the skills to produce scholarly research

Oversight Committee

An interprofessional URM Oversight Committee, chaired by Edgar Figueroa, MD, MPH, has convened to guide the progress of the Underrepresented in Medicine Initiative work. Four Work Groups are leading the development of strategies and measures for their Focus Area, while the entire Oversight Committee is monitoring the progress of the work and communicating with STFM members and the STFM Foundation about the work being done.

STFM Health Equity Goals

  • Increase awareness among family medicine faculty of social determinants of health by increasing visibility of STFM offerings related to health equity via explicit labeling and packaging in STFM communication vehicles, conference offerings, and other STFM activities
  • Provide health equity and social determinants of health education, training, and resources for medical student and family medicine residency faculty
  • Engage in partnerships across family medicine to advance our health equity goals
  • Explore partnerships outside family medicine to advance our health equity goals Develop and support strategies for 25% by 2030 for America’s Health as a means of advancing the medical student choice and health equity

Health Equity Definition
Conditions that allow everyone the opportunity to attain their highest level of health


STFM Policy Statement Against Discrimination 
STFM opposes all discrimination in any form, including but not limited to, that on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic affiliation, health, age, disability, economic status, body habitus or national origin.

Leadership Blog Posts

The STFM Foundation launched a year-long blog series. In this series, The Path We Took, URM members share the path they took to become faculty and leaders in family medicine. 

  • Mi Gente—Edgar Figueroa, MD, MPH, shares how being in STFM has allowed him to stay connected.

  • STFM Is My Most Precious Membership—Evelyn Figueroa, MD, shares that STFM gave me the tools to advocate and integrate concepts related to bias in healthcare such as racism, sexism, heterosexism, and privilege into my everyday teaching and patient care.

  • I Share This Story Because it Has Stayed With Me For Some Time—Shannon Pittman Moore, MD, writes about her medical training experience as a black woman in the South, unconscious bias, and her belief that there is still good in the world. 

  • In Pursuit of Equity—Cleveland Piggott, MD, MPH, shares how he is working to close the racial disparity gap as new faculty and the only black male member in a department of family medicine. 

  • The Path We Took—Octavia M. Amaechi, MD, writes how she strives for professional and personal growth and advocates for the community around her, while hoping that her life silencing stereotypes of what a black voice can be—one patient, one family, one learner, one presentation, one leadership position, one outreach endeavor at a time.

  • Fierce Women and New Stars—Andrea Anderson, MD, shares her path to full-time academic medicine. "Don’t worry about me, Dr Anderson, I will achieve my dreams. I appreciate you so much. But I know it is time for you to move on, time to make new stars. Many students will appreciate your hard work so they can light up their dreams as well." 

Sonja Shipley, MD is the editor for the URM and Health Equity Blogs. Please consider sharing your story to inspire new URM leaders within STFM to take advantage of what we all know to be career changing opportunities. You can send your story to Sonya at



URM Scholarships for STFM Programs

Thanks to generous support from donors to the Underrepresented in Medicine Campaign, the STFM Foundation is able to provide additional scholarships for underrepresented in medicine applicants to multiple STFM programs. 

Underrepresented in medicine applicants are encouraged to apply to: 

Key Initiatives

Image Description

Underrepresented in Medicine Fundraising Campaign

"Disparity and inequity will always be with us. We will, therefore, need to be consistently persistent and vigilant as the faces and realities of health equity evolve over time. If we are to succeed in the long run, we need to commit being “all in” for the long run."

-- STFM Foundation President, Amy McGaha, MD

Donate to the Campaign

Learn more about the STFM Foundation Campaign. 

In 2018, the STFM Foundation launched a 2-year campaign to raise $150,000 to support programs and scholarships for underrepresented in medicine (URM) students, residents, and new faculty. “We need a diverse and culturally competent workforce to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population,” said Campaign Chair Judy Washington, MD.

Watch the video on YouTube
  1. AAMC. The status of the new AAMC definition of "underrepresented in medicine" following the Supreme Court's decision in Grutter. 2004; Accessed January 31, 2014.
  2. Quick Facts United States. 2018; Accessed September 4, 2019.
  3. Diversity of the Physician Workforce: Facts and Figures 2018. 2018; Accessed March 26, 2020.

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June 9: Deadline for applications for the CERA Survey of Program Directors

June 16: Proposals Due for the Conference on Medical Student Education

June 17: Last day to apply to be Health Systems Initiative Chair and Assistant Chair

June 22: Deadline to apply for STFM Foundation Student Scholarships

July 6: Deadline to apply for STFM Representative for the Center for the History of Family Medicine

September 25: Nominations Due for STFM CPQI Steering Committee

October 15: Nominations Due for the Advocacy Scholarship for New Faculty