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The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Hosts Leveraging Diversity in Academic Medicine Seminar

In partnership with Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians (BNGAP)

May 10, 2021
Diversity and Inclusion "Leveraging Diversity in Academic Medicine" webinar stock photo
Diversity and Inclusion webinar

The six-hour seminar was kicked off by Mill Etienne, M.D., M.P.H., FAAN, FAES, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, associate dean for student affairs and associate professor of neurology and medicine in the School of Medicine (SOM), who encouraged participants that opportunity was out there no matter their background in his opening remarks. “There are opportunities in academia for everyone,” Dr. Etienne said.

Dr. Etienne presented “Diversity and Inclusion in the Academic Medicine Workforce,” breaking down the differences between diversity and inclusion and between race and ethnicity. He described how inclusion fosters diversity by “nurturing the climate and culture” of an institution through professional development, education, policy and practice. Diversity is achieved when an institution is mindful of “all aspects of human difference.”

Dr. Etienne also touched upon the lack of diversity in medical school faculty in the United States, citing a 2012 study that indicated 40 percent of the U.S. population identified as African American, Hispanic, Asian or Native American, yet those groups only comprised roughly seven percent of medical school faculty.

Also a Captain in the United States Navy, Dr. Etienne gave a personal example of the benefits of having medical professionals from diverse backgrounds on staff. When an earthquake rocked Haiti in 2010, Dr. Etienne was the only physician of Haitian descent on his naval ship. This allowed him to have a better relationship with the Haitian citizens he treated. 

Pamela Ludmer, M.D., M.M.E.L., associate dean for curriculum integration for the SOM, and clinical assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics, followed with her presentation,  “Academic Career Roles and Responsibilities,” giving students an in-depth look at roles in academia and what they entail.

“Medical school is just a stepping stone in your career,” Dr. Ludmer said. She described faculty roles such as clinician investigators, clinician educators and clinical faculty, as well as administrative roles such as department chairs, deans and hospital-based leadership roles.

Several presentations followed covering topics such as attaining scholarships and finding academic positions after residency, as participants in the seminar absorbed the wide-ranging seminar.

As for the future, Dr. Etienne encouraged students to be “fluid” in how they approach the next steps in their careers, especially if they pursue careers in academia.