Antiracism Initiatives at University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency
In 2018, residency administration began efforts to explicitly combat implicit bias. Our approach draws on both a tradition of social justice initiatives at the residency and our acknowledgment that a formalized approach to countering systemic bias in medicine is long overdue. We are focused specifically on anti-racism, though our efforts apply to other kinds of bias as well. Below is a brief summary of our multi-pronged, ongoing interventions. Please feel free to contact any of us on residency administration if you need more information on any or all of these domains!
- Recruitment - Research shows that one of the key components of residency applications, the Medical Student Performance Evaluation, is measurably biased in the descriptors used for people who identify as female and who are not white.(1) Additional research has implicated virtually every step of the educational process as subject to implicit bias. (2) One of the most evidence-based ways to decrease implicit bias in our residency recruitment process is to implement structured interviews. Our interview questions reflect the main values of our program and are edited each year based on feedback from residents and faculty.
- Curriculum/Didactics- In addition to integrating anti-racism elements into all didactic teaching using a validated bias checklist, we have added dedicated teaching on anti-racism skill-building and lectures on racism in medicine.
- Resident-Led Iniativites - Despite the intense responsibilities of residency, several residents identified the need for additional opportunities to develop a personal approach to antiracism and founded the Antiracism Learning Group. Residents coordinate discussion groups for both faculty and residents, and focus on selected readings, films, and podcasts. Examples of topics include “Medical Apartheid” by Harriet Washington, and “July ’64.”
- Institution-Wide Iniativites - The Association of Minority Residents and Fellows is a community dedicated to the creation of safe spaces for University of Rochester Medical Center under-represented in medicine (URiM) minorities. Our residency provides protected time for our URiM residents to attend monthly meetings, except during obligatory inpatient service rotations where coverage is not available).
- Department Wide Iniatives - Our department has engaged two community experts, Maisha Enaharo, MS, MPH, and Kit Miller, Director Emeritus of the M.K. Ghandi Institute for Nonviolence. They facilitate regular affinity groups for departmental leadership, as well as department-wide trainings for staff, faculty, and residents alike. We currently have a “Change Team,” with staff, resident and faculty representatives, who meet regularly to advance our anti-racism work. Areas of focus over the past year have been identifying and eliminating sources of bias in our process for dismissal letters from the practice and for prenatal drug screening, both of which are subject to potential implicit bias.
- Community Participation - Our residency has a long history of partnering with the community, and anti-racism is no exception. For many years we hosted a chapter of Exploring.org under the leadership of our recently-retired program director Steve Schultz, MD. The purpose of our chapter was to introduce young teens from under-resourced backgrounds to professional careers in medicine. We also have a partnership with University of Rochester Minority Association of Pre-Med Students (MAPS), and serve as a shadowing site for students aspiring to careers in medicine. Meetings occur as regularly as permitted based on COVID-related restrictions on on-campus gatherings.
Ross DA, Boatright D, Nunez-Smith M, Jordan A, Chekroud A, Moore EZ. Differences in words used to describe racial and gender groups in Medical Student Performance Evaluations. PLoS One. 2017 Aug 9;12(8)
Spicer J. The Myth of Medical Meritocracy: How Our Selection Processes Perpetuate Inequity & Steps We Can Take to Rectify It. Lecture, presented at: Strong Memorial Hospital Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Grand Rounds, June 22, 2021. Rochester, NY.
School of Medicine and Dentistry Office of Equity and Inclusion
Association of Minority Residents and Fellows
URMC Faculty Out and Ally List
Equity & Anti-Racism Action Plan
Golisano Children's Hospital Equity & Anti-Racism Action Plan
Rochester Pride Parade
URMC Networking Resources
- Association of Minority Residents and Fellows (AMRF)
- Women in Science and Medicine Faculty Advisory Committee
- LGBT Faculty Advisory Committee
- Minority Faculty Advisory Committee
- Medical Student Affinity and Interest Groups
- American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
- Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA)
- Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)
- Physicians for Human Rights
- Rochester Medical Accessibility Coalition (RMAC)
- Student National Medical Association (SNMA)
- Graduate Student Affinity Groups
- Graduate Women in Science
- Graduate Students of Color
Latino Professional Alliance at March
Educational & Cultural Programs
- Tana Grady-Weliky, MD Annual Lecture on Women and Minorities in Medicine
- Third Thursdays Performing Arts and Culture
- Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion at URMC (annual poster event)
- Diversity Seminar Series (monthly)
- Biennial Conference on Healthcare Disparities
- UR Annual Diversity Conference
UR Affinity Groups
- Four Directions (Native American)
- Latino Professional Alliance at UR
- Minority Male Leadership Association
- Pride Alliance at UR
- Sankofa (formerly African American Network)
- South Asian Professional Networking Association
- Veterans Alliance
- Women’s Leadership Alliance
- Young Leaders at UR