Coming together to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in physician scientist training programs

Following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey and countless other black lives, there was a public outcry for change. Countless organizations confronted their roles in our country’s long history of systemic racism. We as a physician scientist training community were no different. Several MD/PhD programs evaluated how they could work to tackle systemic racism within their institutions and promote principles of equity and racial justice. 

 

With each institution making changes within their program, the changes we as a community must make are often lost. Also there is a tendency to focus on our own institutions at the sake of synergy. Furthermore, often we as students are at the forefront of leading DEI programing at our schools without training on how to do so effectively. Working on these projects is often taxing amidst a stressful training path we as physician scientist trainees have. As such, students involved in DEI initiatives would benefit from creating a support network for one another through which we can encourage and support each other. It is our goal to create a meeting space that will allow for networking, sharing of DEI related ideas, provide a space for training, begin creating a support structure for student leaders and collectively come up with action items that are important to us. 

Thank you to our sponsors:

Planning Committee Members:

Ashley Scott (co-chair), University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison
Brenda Gutierrez (co-chair), University of California (UC) Irvine

Anisha Adke, University of Minnesota
Iffy Akinnola, University of Minnesota
Roberto Lopez Cervera, University of Minnesota
Maegan Cremer, University of Florida
Anna Heffron, UW Madison
Lauren (Abbey) Houchin, UC Irvine
Chu Hsiao, University of Florida
Sophie Levis, UC Irvine
Emmanuel Long, Ohio State University
Andrea Maxwell, University of Minnesota
Rodrigo Montoro, UW Madison
Mytien Nguyen, Yale University
Meghana Pagadala, UC San Diego
Bo Peng, UW Madison
Yueqi Ren, UC Irvine
Mericien Venzon, New York University
Kevin Wang, UC Irvine
Olivia Yanes, UC Irvine
Kristie Yu, UC Los Angeles
What makes you passionate about DEI?
Ashley Scott_Univ of WI MSTP
Ashley Scott_Univ of WI MSTP

As future physician scientists we will soon become leaders in academic medicine and biomedical research. It is imperative that we work together to actively dismantle health disparities and produce research that does not contribute to the worsening of inequities. In order to accomplish this we need to create an equitable and inclusive environment that fosters creative and innovative ideas from a diverse workforce.

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Brenda Gutierrez
Brenda Gutierrez

When I began my training, I immediately noticed the lack of diversity in physician scientist training which is detrimental to the advancement of science and quality of care patients of marginalized communities receive. I believe MD/PhD programs can improve by not only increasing program diversity, but by also helping students of different backgrounds thrive and succeed.

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Andrea Maxwell
Andrea Maxwell

I believe that our patients and communities are harmed when we fail to actively, intentionally, and equitably include voices from under-represented communities that celebrate diversity in race, gender, abilities, SES, etc... MD/PhD programs produce academic leaders who bridge both science and medicine and thus are an ideal place to actively engage these voices and promote institutional change.

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Ashley Scott_Univ of WI MSTP
Ashley Scott_Univ of WI MSTP

As future physician scientists we will soon become leaders in academic medicine and biomedical research. It is imperative that we work together to actively dismantle health disparities and produce research that does not contribute to the worsening of inequities. In order to accomplish this we need to create an equitable and inclusive environment that fosters creative and innovative ideas from a diverse workforce.

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