Our program values inclusion regarding gender identity, race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and perspective as it fosters a better understanding of the unique human experience in and out of the healthcare setting. We are committed to training culturally sensitive physicians reflective of the diverse population we serve. We strive to graduate residents who continue to demonstrate the importance of diversity and inclusion by providing equitable care for all patients. At the University of Rochester, individual differences are welcomed, valued, and supported.
The University of Rochester Emergency Medicine Residency Program is actively working to foster a learning environment in which residents, faculty, and learners from all backgrounds are welcomed, valued and supported. Our community in Rochester is incredibly diverse, and our goal is to create a residency program that mirrors the racial, ethnic, and cultural makeup of the population we serve. As an institution, we are committed to maintaining a firmly anti-racist stance and fighting against institutional racism and violence against Black and Brown communities. We aim to graduate residents who are culturally competent, socially conscious, and prepared to meet the needs of patients from all walks of life.
Each of our residents brings a unique skill set and compilation of life experiences to the table, and we pride ourselves in choosing residents who are excited to provide excellent and equitable care by actively addressing how healthcare disparities shape the unique needs of our community. We welcome and strongly encourage residency applications from talented candidates who identify as URIM, women, and LGBTQIA+ regardless of test scores. When we embrace and celebrate each other’s differences, we can accomplish truly exemplary patient care.
Rochester is a large, richly diverse city in Western New York. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2020 data set, our urban population of 206K within the city of Rochester is composed of 37.1% Black or African American (Non-Hispanic), 35.8% White (Non-Hispanic), 13.9% Hispanic, 6.2% Multiracial, 3.3% Asian, 0.7% American Indian and Alaska Native, and 0.17% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander. 9.3% of Rochestarians were born outside of the United States.
Additionally, Rochester is home to the largest number of Deaf adults in the country. According to a study released by the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf based on census data, there are over ~19,000 Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals in the greater Rochester area, many of whom communicate using American Sign Language (ASL). We are proud to serve the Deaf community at the University of Rochester and offer unique services such as 24/7 in-person ASL interpreters in the hospital.
The journey towards creating a diverse and inclusive environment does not happen overnight. It starts with an open dialect and people taking the time to listen to others with different perspectives from all walks of life. I appreciate being a part of the residency’s journey.”
– Dennis Nmecha, MD (Class of 2023) - DEI Task Force Founder & Chair
DEI Task Force
Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, established in 2020 by current Chief Resident Dennis Nmecha, is a group of residents and faculty members who are dedicated to increasing underrepresented in medicine (URiM) resident recruitment, participating in community outreach activities to benefit underrepresented minorities in Rochester, and incorporating diversity education into our residency curriculum to highlight healthcare disparities among BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, refugee, housing/food insecure, and Deaf communities, among others.
Women in Emergency Medicine
Our program is proud to have 19 incredible female residents, with our two most recently matriculated classes boasting a 50-50 female-male breakdown. Women are highly valued as leaders within our program, and we are fortunate to have many female attendings on our faculty, many of whom hold leadership positions, such as Dr. Andrea Miglani (ED Medical Director), Dr. Sydney Chamberlin, (ED Assistant Medical Director), Dr. Valerie Lou (Assistant Program Director), Dr. Flavia Nobay (Associate Dean of Student Affairs, University of Rochester School of Medicine), Dr. Anne Brayer (URMC Pediatric EM Fellowship Director) and Dr. Colleen Davis (Chief of Pediatric EM). Our Women in Emergency Medicine group composed of residents and faculty meets for fun activities several times throughout the year to foster fellowship and support for each other.
What Our Residents Say...
Diversity, equity and inclusion to me means an environment where there’s representation and retention of diverse talent, processes are impartial/fair and there’s equal possible outcomes for all, and an environment with inclusive culture where people feel a sense of belonging. Our residency program prioritizes this by 1) attempting to increase diversity among faculty and residents,
2) frequently speaking about health inequities during weekly conferences and,
3) encouraging wellness and camaraderie among residents and attendings. Residents exemplify these values in and outside of work by also increasing efforts to promote diversity, collaborating with other residents in different specialties, and including not only each other, but also visiting medical students on out of work activities. We are all a big family supporting each other and have created an environment where we are heard, welcomed and included. We have a ways to go but strive to be even 1% better each day.
Susi Gutierrez-Luke, DO (Class of 2023)
There is nothing more important than creating an environment where my colleagues, residents, and patients feel welcome and included. Our residency has made strides in creating this environment by revamping our interview selection and interview process to recruit a more diverse pool of people. Additionally, we have created an environment where we can learn from each other by integrating diverse educational topics into core lectures, dedicating specific time to discuss aspects of DEI, and establishing our own resident run DEI task force. We are far from where we want to be but are so far from where we started. I am really looking forward to the rest of the journey, aided by all of our current and future residents!
Jason Rotoli, MD (Associate Program Director)
What I like best about the program are
the people! You will not find a friendlier environment to be in. Everyone really cares about you and wants you to succeed as you move through your education and scientific career.
Joseph Pereira, MD (Associate Program Director)
DEI to me represents improving care for our patients when our residents and faculty share overlap with the disparities and unique cultural backgrounds of our patients. As a CODA, I have been honored to serve Deaf patients here, as well as conduct research with our faculty in the area of Deaf health. Coming from the PNW, Rochester has clearly shown diversity in ways that represent the big cities like NYC or Chicago, without the feel of a big city.
Luke Johnson, MD (Class of 2024)
It’s a responsibility for us to be able to effectively communicate and advocate for the communities that we serve. The emergency department is the conduit between community and hospital, meaning that there are a wide range of opportunities to address the social and economic factors that bring individuals to the hospital. Health is not the only reason to seek care.
Cullan Donnelly, MD (Class of 2025)