Diversity in the IM Residency Program

Unity photo 2018

UVA IM residents and faculty joining SNMA students in their August 2018 unity photo

Message from the Associate Chair for Diversity and Inclusion at the School of Medicine

Creating and maintaining a climate of diversity and inclusion are priorities at the School of Medicine and, in particular, in the Department of Medicine. We recognize that diversity is an essential component in our efforts to continue, and to expand upon, the traditions of excellence in the School and the Department. The Department of Medicine was the first in the School of Medicine to require all of its faculty to participate in unconscious bias training, starting with those faculty members involved in housestaff recruiting. That training has now been extended to the School of Medicine, with almost 1,000 individuals trained so far in an ongoing endeavor. The Department also piloted a new health disparities curriculum in 2015 for all IM housestaff.

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Internal Medicine Residency Program

The Department of Medicine at the University of Virginia recognizes the great importance of increasing diversity at all levels of its organization — residents, fellows, and faculty. We also recognize that we have to continuously work to reach this end, to constantly work to recognize bias and inequity at all levels of patient care, education and leadership. We are strongly committed to accomplishing these goals and are striving for an inclusive and supportive training and mentoring experience for all housestaff. We believe strongly that a diverse housestaff encourages empathy and compassion within our hospital and community and provides the optimal care and teaching for our patients and learners.  Our residents are engaged in didactics to address implicit bias and health disparities and receive training in managing conflicts related to bias and discrimination. We have instituted several annual Medical Grand Rounds to engage all faculty and trainees on this important matter.

Our goal during the process of our residency interviews is for all applicants to receive an open and genuine exposure to UVA’s Internal Medicine faculty and housestaff and to the culture, mentorship, and experience of training at UVA. In light of the events in Charlottesville in 2017 and the ongoing work to engage in the work of healing and unity-building in our community, we feel it doubly important to address openly any questions that applicants to UVA might have about the community, program and institution that we love and call home.

The UVA Graduate Medical Education Committee is continuing this year to organize several GME-wide Diversity Days during the interview season, which can potentially coincide with your interview day. Typically these half day events would involve either a morning or afternoon meal (depending on the date) with speakers from UVA and the Charlottesville community. Ample time to informally talk to these individuals (including faculty, housestaff and medical students and community members) is built into the day. If this is important to your understanding of and interest in UVA please request to interview on dates that coordinate with these dates and plan your stay accordingly. You can read more about all the good work occurring at UVA in GME within this domain at the GME Diversity and Inclusion webpage.

In addition to our normal interview days, we will hold some extended interview days (December 3, December 13). On these interview days, we will hold a brief reception following the usual interview day at which underrepresented minority faculty, residents, and fellows (as well as faculty and housestaff involved in activities to increase diversity at UVA) will be present to discuss life in Charlottesville, the training experience and opportunities that exist at UVA, and the commitment to increasing diversity at UVA and supporting underrepresented minority physicians through their professional development. On these two interview dates, this time of sharing and networking would be expected to conclude around approximately 4:15 pm.

For applicants with questions about these interview dates or these programs, please contact Margaret Kuhlman or Dr. Brian Uthlaut, Residency Program Director. We would love for you to join us on any of these dates! For anyone who cannot accommodate one of these opportunities with their interview schedule, please know there are many housestaff and faculty that will welcome this discussion with you on any interview day.

UVA and Diversity in the News

For the 6th year in a row, UVA School of Medicine receives the INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

The University of Virginia School of Medicine has received the 2017 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for the 6th consecutive year. The HEED award is presented by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, and allied health schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — the University of Virginia School of Medicine will be featured, along with 23 other recipients, in the December 2017 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees…. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine…. Read More

Pinn Hall Dedication

The Pinn Hall dedication honored Dr. Pinn highlighted issues of access for access for underrepresented minorities, especially African American women, as students, practitioners, and leaders in medicine but also as beneficiaries of medical care. Dr. Pinn (Med’67) was founding Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health, National Institutes of Health. Dr. Sullivan was the 17th U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Ms. Oliver is a UVA Generalist Medicine Scholar in the Class of 2018.

Pinn Hall was formerly named for eugenicist and medical school dean Harvey Jordan. It was built in 1972. UVa’s Board of Visitors voted to change the name in 2016. In 2010, the school also named an advisory college after Pinn. The building, at the center of the UVa Health System hospital complex, houses the medical school and is the center of a new push by Dean David Wilkes to update technology and add research space for faculty…. Read More

The University of Virginia’s Recovery and Response from the August 11 and 12 Events

Following the events of August 11 and 12, 2017, UVA President Teresa Sullivan charged a working group of deans and other University community members to lead the University’s response. Their mission is to assist the University community in recovering from and responding to the violent demonstrations by white supremacists on our Grounds and in Charlottesville. They seek to first recover from violence, from bigotry, from vulnerability. They are also charged with tasks that are both short-term and long-term; they are about physical safety and emotional well-being; they are as practical as revising policies and as lofty as advancing human progress; and they will require us to examine what we need to do within our own community and ask what we can do beyond it.

In response to the events of August 11 and 12, 2017, the University is taking all possible steps to review what happened, to identify the ways in which our response could have been more effective, and to institute practices that will prevent violence of this sort from happening again…. Read More

UVA’s Dr. Gregory Townsend Receives the 2017 “Giving Back Award” from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine

The Giving Back Award honors college and university administrators who go above and beyond their everyday leadership duties and “give back” to their campuses and communities. Dr. Gregory Townsend will be featured, along with 38 other recipients, in the April 2017 Leadership Support and Giving Back issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Giving Back Award recipients were nominated by their colleagues and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on their outstanding demonstration of social responsibility; involvement with students, faculty, staff, and the community; and commitment to serving underrepresented populations. Each honoree is recognized for his or her passion, dedication, and support for diversity and inclusion. INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Dr. Gregory Townsend due to his ongoing engagement within his community as well as his advocacy in the School of Medicine. Dr. Townsend encourages a broad sense of inclusion and also embraces the breadth of diversity within the education realm. Dr. Townsend has been a role model of inclusivity and has advanced the vital mission of creating a more diverse environment at the School of Medicine. Dr. Townsend has been outspoken in increasing all forms of diversity that includes disability, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, race/ethnicity, nationality, and other social dimensions that are important for the School and academic medicine. Dr. Townsend exemplifies the qualities of a great community leader as he promotes a vibrant energy for change in all areas of both his personal and professional life… Read More

Researchers with ProjectImplicit Interviewed on NPR

Researchers from ProjectImplicit, a project with contributors from the University of Virginia, spoke recently on NPR about implicit bias, which has become a key part of the national dialogue on race in America. Listen Here

The University of Virginia Renames Jordan Hall as Pinn Hall

The Board of Visitors approved the proposed renaming of Jordan Hall to Pinn Hall in its meeting Thursday, removing the building’s previous connection to a eugenicist. The building — which serves as a medical research facility — has been renamed for Vivian Pinn, who graduated from the School of Medicine in 1967…. Pinn was the only female and only African-American member of her 1967 class and has since received numerous honors for her accomplishments as a physician. Read More

University of Virginia Study Links Disparities in Pain Management to Racial Bias

Research has documented that black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to white Americans, likely due to both the over-prescription and over-use of pain medications among white patients and the under-prescription of pain medications for black patients…. Read More

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