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At UAB, providing culturally responsive healthcare is a priority. Each day we provide the best care to all our patients, and we proactively work to ensure that we meet the needs of our diverse community. With diversity in leadership, faculty, residents, and staff, our patient population benefits from innovative approaches to patient care that will have a positive impact on reducing healthcare disparities. We are proud of the inclusive learning environment at UAB, and we firmly believe it is a key to our residents’ success. 

Our program's diversity and inclusion initiatives offer residents an opportunity make a lasting impact on our culture while learning about the many factors that impact culture and diversity in academic medicine.

Specific aims of our initiatives are to:

 Promote a culture of inclusiveness in a dedicated effort to increase Departmental      diversity through the recruitment, development, and retention of diverse physicians
 Promote cultural competency within the Internal Medicine Residency Program
-   Promote a healthier community and mitigate healthcare disparities

Longitudinal Diversity and Inclusion Curriculum

Our program created a longitudinal diversity and inclusion curriculum in an effort to educate trainees and faculty on the ways that we can cultivate inclusive and equitable environments for all healthcare workers as well as improve our interactions and the quality of care delivered to patients, specifically from marginalized backgrounds.

Each year the curriculum includes the following topic areas: (1) Health Disparities/ Social Determinants of Health (2) Micro/Macroaggression in the clinical setting (3) Care for an underserved/marginalized population- Patient Experience Panel (4) Community Engagement Panel.

Past and Present Topics

-   Intro to Health Disparities
 Supporting Trainees by Addressing Inappropriate Behaviors by Patients
 Patient Experience Forum
 Structural Racism and Healthcare
-   Care for the Justice-Involved Patient
-   Disparities in Care and Outcomes for Patients with Renal Disease
 Care for the Transgender Patient
 Presence 5 for Racial Justice
-   Unconscious Bias Training for the Intern Selection Committee

Pipeline Initiatives and Recruitment Efforts

According to the AAMC 2019 report on Diversity in Medicine, ethnic groups including African-American, Hispanic or Latino American, Asian-American, American Indian, and Alaska Native American only account for 27.9% of the total US physicians. The Department of Medicine and Graduate Medical Education (GME) Office recognize the importance of supporting under-represented minorities both personally and professionally in their pursuit of success. We continued to foster relationships with organizations aimed at the recruitment, retention and support of minorities in medicine.

We have worked closely with UAB’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Chapter to collaborate with yearly events. Moreover, each year members of our committee represent UAB at national conferences for SNMA, Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), and talks at medical schools supportive of UAB’s focus on diversity.

DEC Mixers and Second Look Weekend

We are very proud to offer under-represented minority applicants an in-depth look at UAB’s focus on diversity through our Pre-Interview Dinner Diversity Mixers. At these events, applicants meet with residents and fellows from underrepresented backgrounds to learn more about our dedication to pursuing diversity and embracing inclusivity within our training programs, department, and in the care that we provide.

Community Service

We recognize the importance of our residents and faculty mirroring the diversity in our patient population and embrace opportunities where we can give back to the community we aim to serve. Each year we design a fun-filled, interactive activity at a local elementary school to promote health education. We also work with other department of medicine committees in collaborative community service events such as a Thanksgiving Canned Food Drive. We are continually aiming to expand our community service efforts to better service a population in need.

A Culture of Inclusion

Our residency program is committed to fostering an environment of community and inclusivity. In addition to developing educational content to cultivate inclusion, the Director and Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion provide mentorship opportunities to trainees who are from underrepresented backgrounds for personal and professional development. The UAB Heersink School of Medicine and Department of Medicine host affinity groups to cultivate an institutional climate that supports the professional development of trainees and faculty from diverse backgrounds.

UAB and The Equal Justice Initiative

Beginning in the Spring 2024 will be the beginning of our residency program will visit Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) located in Montgomery, AL. EJI was founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, lawyer and bestselling author of Just Mercy. It is a nonprofit organization “committed to ending mass incarceration, challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.” The visit will include time at the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Through this experience, we hope to learn more about racial injustice in our state and our country to enable us to take better care of our patients and our communities. We are very excited to offer this incredible opportunity to our residents.

Institutional Initiatives for Diversity and Inclusion

 Leaders in Diversity

 UAB Diversity News & Events

 UAB Medicine Diversity Initiatives & Events

The Common Thread: Find Yourself in Everyone