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Diversity & Inclusion

At URMC Med-Peds, we function as a family unit. Our commitment to diversity reflects the belief that all the individuals making up the Med-Peds Program (residents, faculty, and staff) are valued and valuable, and contribute much to our environment and each other’s success. We believe that our differences are our strengths. We recognize that there is no gold standard sex, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture or language. We know that diverse and inclusive teams with high trust are twice as accurate, creative, and productive as non-diverse and non-inclusive teams. To that end, we have embarked on a journey of action towards achieving “ever better” (Meliora) together.  Our program provides an inclusive, diverse, supportive and equitable learning environment that values all individuals through our equity curriculum and actions.  Our goal is that our residents and faculty reflect the diverse population we serve. 

Our Commitment:

  • Provide education about bias in medicine: all members of our program are required to take implicit bias and microaggression training
  • Empower our trainees and staff to be active bystanders: members of our program receive training on how to respond to witnessed microaggressions, implicit or explicit racism, and/or intolerant language or behavior and are encouraged to report the instances
  • Promote a psychologically safe and supportive culture and environment: our program has a zero tolerance for racial slights by patients, colleagues and or supervisors
  • Continued self improvement and being ever better (Meliora): our program will regularly assess healthcare disparities in our own continuity clinic and utilize outcome metrics to improve the quality of healthcare we deliver  

white coats for black lives

Our Equity Curriculum:RFJ photo

In an attempt to augment our current curriculum, we are incorporating topics that have not historically been incorporated into medical education.  These topics include, but are not limited to racism, implicit bias, trauma-informed care, gender affirming care, care for the LGBTQIA+ community and lifestyle medicine in resource poor settings. In addition to stand alone talks on these topics,  this curriculum will integrate these topics into the current standard curriculum to further emphasize how integral these parts are to all aspects of medical care.

  • Do the work, learn, listen, and wake up.  We hold regular training for residents, faculty and staff on the roots and outcomes of sexism and racism, implicit bias, microaggressions, bystander/ally training, health care disparities and mentoring across differences. 
  • Work jointly with colleagues at other institutions. We collaborate with the University of Michigan on a quarterly joint anti-racism teaching conference.
  • Create and sustain supportive and safe spaces. The Association of Minority Residents and Fellows (AMRF) originated from within the Med-Peds residency program in 2014.  We continue to support and facilitate monthly meetings for this organization and we actively invest in each and every trainee’s success.
  • Hold ourselves and each other accountable.  Responding as a bystander to inequity is a tenet of professionalism for us.  We train you on how to report, how to intervene, and how to resolve instances of inequity.  We train you to have a growth mindset on your own anti-racism journey.
  • Recruit and Retain our trainees.  We are working to build the pipeline from our School of Medicine and Dentistry, through coordination with SNMA and LMSA. We practice holistic reviews of applicants and have mandated diverse faculty and resident recruitment committees to allow us to work towards our goal of reflecting the population we serve.

Collaboration with the University of Michigan:

   You put great people together and the awesome happens!”  - Brett Robbins, MD

Back in February 2021, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and social unrest in the wake upcoming verdict following the brutal murder of George Floyd, the program directors, Brett Robbins and Michael Lukela embarked on a joint venture to expand and create opportunities for residents to come together to share and learn from each other in unique ways. This marked the beginning of a collaboration to design and deliver teaching conferences for both residency programs on institutional racism and movement forward at both UM and UR.

Minority INtrospective Designated Space (MINDS)

This program was initially developed as a URiM trainee forum in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. It was created to provide a psychologically safe space, facilitated by a black psychotherapist, for Med-Peds trainees of color. Following the very first session, the need to expand this space to other trainees of color across the University became very clear. This space is now facilitated by the Association of Minority Residents and Fellows (AMRF) and has our full support. It remains a space to promote resilience and wellness among trainees of color through culturally competent trauma-informed practices.

Organizations Promoting Diversity at URMC

  • AMRF
  • SNMA
  • OEI
  • Spectrum
  • LMSA

Med-Peds Anti-Racism Action Plan:

Being informed about structural inequities and the concerns of marginalized individuals towards the healthcare system can improve patient health outcomes and enhance patient confidence in their ability to prevent and manage their health conditions. Prior to the institutional wide Anti-Racism action Plan, Med-Peds program led an internal task to educate ourselves, create opportunities for all our residents to come together to share and learn from each other in unique ways.

Collectively, we do the work, expect to feel uncomfortable and grow together.

We have read/watched and reflected on the following:

  • "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo
  • "13" - Netflix Documentary

The Stay Woke Club/HEAT:

Established in 2017 by Med-Peds resident, with collaboration from internal Medicine Faculty member, The Stay Woke Club’s mission is to identify and explore social barriers to health such as poverty, racism, domestic violence, disability, behavioral criminalization, and homophobia. The group gathers usually once a month to share a meal and discuss various topics relating to the social determinants of health in an informal setting.  Through discussions,  we will provide clinicians with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to identify how to ameliorate barriers to care for the patients which they serve. We work within the University of Rochester and with community organizations to develop partnerships that advance individual and community health, as well as health equity.​​​​

Vote Rx:

Med-Peds residents, in collaboration with the Pediatrics department, initiated and organized the largest voter mobilization efforts on campus in our institution’s history. This team grew to include faculty at the Culver Medical Group (our Med-Peds continuity clinic), the Hoekelman Center, Internal Medicine, and Adolescent Medicine departments. This group was able to organize materials to educate patients and to advertise the importance of registering to vote, regardless of party. 

Culver Presence Circles: Presence for Racial Justice

As part of the Med-Peds action plan, a group of Culver Medical Group providers consisting of attendings and residents, brings clinicians together to share their experiences with combating anti-Black racism in medicine and learn from each other in promoting health equity for their Black patients.

Everyday is Pride Day!

pride day

The School of Medicine and Dentistry, is partnering with the University's Office of Equity and Inclusion to develop a comprehensive Medical Center anti-racism plan. The new plan will include specific recommendations from anti-racism advocacy groups and allies, committing to strategies and actions that strengthen institutional diversity, identifying leaders, measuring progress and providing transparency through regular reporting.

black white coats

Recent Graduates

  • Charity I. Oyedeji, M.D. - Class of 2017: Hematology attending, Duke
  • Ugo Awa, M.D.- Class of 2017, Adult and Pediatric Rheumatology Attending, Baylor
  • Julia Lister, M.D. - Class of 2020, Adult and Pediatric Hospitalist, University of Minnesota
  • Mofiyin Obadina, M.D. - Class of 2021, Hematology-Oncology Fellow, UNC - Chapel Hill
  • Sasha Nelson M.D. - Class of 2012, Med-Peds Primary Care, Rochester, NY