Purpose Despite a demographic surge in U.S. minority children, pediatric workforce diversity has failed to keep pace. The study aim was to evaluate the Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity (RAPID), a research-education program aimed at recruiting, retaining, and professionally advancing diverse early-career faculty in general pediatrics who are pursuing research careers. Method RAPID includes the following components: small research grants, mentoring by nationally renowned senior investigators, mentoring and networking at an annual breakfast, an annual career-development conference, and monthly mentoring conference calls. Outcomes data from the first 5 years (2012-2017) of RAPID were analyzed. Data sources were Academic Pediatric Association (APA) membership data and postconference, baseline, and end-of-program/follow-up surveys. Outcome measures included mentoring quality, presentations, publications, subsequent grants, impact on career success, conference ratings, and APA membership diversity. Results For the 10 Scholars from the first 4 cohorts, mean scores were 4.5 (5 = strongly agree) for RAPID fostering mentoring, developing research skills, and helping Scholars feel more comfortable as underrepresented minority (URM) faculty; 78% delivered platform or poster presentations on their project. They published 56 total articles and received a mean of 2.5 subsequent grants. Their mean score for RAPID "advancing my career by facilitating promotion or getting a job" was 4.6. The first 4 RAPID Conferences were highly rated (mean scores = 4.2-4.8) and brought in 33 additional URM young investigators. Pre-RAPID, URM APA membership stagnated at 6%-7% for 5 years. In RAPID's first year, URM APA membership rose to 8%, then to 10% by 2017 (43% increase; P <.001). Conclusions RAPID Scholars generated multiple presentations and publications. RAPID mentoring and Conferences were highly rated. RAPID was associated with career advancement and increased professional society diversity. RAPID could serve as a national model for enhancing URM career development and professional society diversity.
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