ODI Blog Special TopicsThe UAB School of Medicine Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) team is sponsoring a special topic forum—Diversity in Healthcare—during the month of October.

The special topics program committee, which consists of Ms. Erica Brown, Dr. Steven Hairston, and Dr. Leisha Hultgren, developed this forum with the vision of having a multi-day event where students are exposed to the who, what, when, and why’s of...


  • health disparities;
  • diversity in healthcare;
  • social determinants of health and health inequity;
  • cultural and social barriers that may prevent a patient from receiving healthcare;
  • interventions to improve healthcare;
  • appropriate terminology in a healthcare setting;
  • understanding the lived experiences of the LGBTQ community;
  • emotional intelligence and tools to manage emotions during conflict;
  • forms of microaggression and strategies to mitigate them in a professional setting;
  • a discussion of the changing population in the United States and a thorough look at the importance of cultural competency and the role that it plays in healthcare;
  • disabilities and social justice.

To encourage an interactive dialogue and maximum participation, all sessions will be open to second- through fourth-year students of the UAB School of Medicine and attendance capped at 25 students.

Currently, sessions are in person and will be held October 18-22, 2021, with each day will having a specific focus area.

October 18th- Diversity in Healthcare and Health Disparities
October 19th- Cultural Competency and the Changing Population in the United States
October 20th- Transcending Medicine
October 21st- Learning to Manage in the Moment
October 22nd- Disabilities and Social Justice

Note: With the developing circumstances of the COVID-19 Delta variant, our program committee is working to create a virtual option should the need to change the delivery format arise.

A dynamic and knowledgeable group of doctors and practitioners have been assembled to include representation from our own School of Medicine, the UAB Health, and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.

Confirmed panelists and presenters from UAB include:

  • Dr. Hussein D. Abdullatif
  • Dr. Michael Barnett
  • Dr. Andrea Cherrington
  • Dr. Patricia Drentea
  • Dr. Regan Durant
  • Dr. Mona Fouad
  • Dr. Caroline Harada
  • Dr. Morissa Jean Ladinsky
  • Dr. Gabriela Oates
  • Dr. Tina Kempin Reuter
  • Dr. Tina Simpson
  • Dr. Carlton Young
  • Dr. Nicolas Van Wagoner
  • Ms. Alisha Booker, the University Ombudsman
  • Mr. Andre Lessears, Chief Diversity Office for UAB Health System
  • Dr. Pamela Payne-Foster, Deputy Director and Associate professor of the Rural Health Institute and Community Rural Medicine from the University of Alabama 

Registration instructions will be forthcoming from the School of Medicine.