“We want to ensure that diversity is more than a buzz word, and that our culture actually reflects the values of inclusion and fairness. All of us at SOM, students, faculty, trainees and staff alike, are part of that process. Together, we are building a community in which differences of every kind – gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and beyond – are not only valued but seen as a means to excellence.”
– Greg Townsend, MD
Associate Dean for Diversity
“During the past 10 years we have made significant strides in increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of our medical students, and advanced from the 5th percentile to the 90th percentile when compared to other medical schools. This occurred because we, as an institution, made a conscious decision to make it happen, implementing protocols and systems to increase our inclusiveness. We realized that great students and outstanding future doctors are more than their GPA and MCAT scores. Just as importantly, we recognized that diversity and excellence go hand in hand. To prove that point: Since we started taking an holistic view of our applicants, and our diversity increased, so have our overall United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and Step 2 scores. While this is incredible, we must also address the lack of diversity in our housestaff and faculty, where we are 50% below the national diversity average for race/ethnicity and also below the 50th percentile for gender.
The Office for Diversity and Inclusion has organized a Virginia Academic Medicine Diversity Consortium with all four allopathic Medical Schools in Virginia; allocated new funds to facilitate the hire of underrepresented faculty members; enhanced communications by updating the website, creating a monthly newsletter, and using social media; and provided Safe Space training for faculty and housestaff through the Diversity Office and the Graduate Medical Education Office. We also have outreach programs to elementary-, middle- and high-school students to provide early exposure to careers in medicine. Moving forward, we will develop a diversity scorecard, design a system for leadership accountability, identify a diversity faculty recruitment resource, implement unconscious bias training broadly, and launch the Diversity Engagement Survey. We will also work with departments to help them enhance their diversity and inclusion efforts.”
–R.J. Canterbury, MD, MS, DLFAPA
Interim Dean UVA School of Medicine
Wilford W. Spradlin Professor
On June 30, Dr. Richard Shannon, Executive Vice President of Health Affairs, presented the second State of the Health System address to School of Medicine faculty and Health System leadership. Dr. Shannon started the hour-long presentation discussing how we need to define who we are, as a Health System, by using our own results and achievements, rather than through external reporting organizations, such as U.S News and Consumer Reports, organizations that cannot agree among themselves upon which hospitals, specialties, or services are, in fact, “best.”
At UVA School of Medicine, we are committed to ensuring that diversity is more than a buzzword, and that our culture and community actually reflect the values of inclusion and fairness. For students, housestaff, faculty, staff and patients alike, we strive to foster a sense of community that values and takes advantage of our differences and similarities in gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and beyond.
In all that we do, we work to benefit human health and improve the quality of life.
We will be:
- our local community’s provider of choicefor its healthcare needs
- a national leader in quality, patient safety, service, and compassionate care
- the leading provider of technologically-advanced, ground-breaking care throughout Virginia
- recognized for translating research discoveries into improvements in clinical care and patientoutcomes
- fostering innovative care delivery and teaching/training models that respond to the evolving health environment
- a leader in training students and faculty in providing health care free of disparity
Please follow the link to read about the SOM Strategic Plan
For physicians-in-training, learning the cross-cultural skills to communicate across differences of every kind is essential. The School of Medicine has over three decades’ experience promoting diversity among medical and graduate students in a variety of educational and mentoring programs. We invite you to explore further what diversity means at the UVA School of Medicine.
For more information about UVA’s commitment to diversity and a broader listing of diversity programs, please see the following link:Voices of Diversity