May 26, 2020

Williams named 2020 Dean's Excellence Winner in Diversity

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RS30841 Karla Williams 6 scrKarla Williams, M.D., is the junior faculty winner of the 2020 Dean’s Excellence Award in Diversity. Williams is an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Hospital Medicine and the director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Williams exemplifies passion for advancing diversity and inclusion in academic medicine. As a resident she led the Diversity Enrichment Program with the goal to create a more inclusive learning environment for underrepresented trainees. In that role, she created a recruitment video and cultivated relationships with Morehouse School of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, and Meharry Medical College. These relationships have become a critical factor in our growing success in attracting outstanding young physicians of color to the program. Williams has worked with colleagues to develop a formal curriculum to address microaggressions in the medical environment. Supporting Trainees by Addressing Microaggressions by Patients (STAMP) has opened the door to have safe and honest discussions about racial and gender derogations in the medical environment.

According to Dr. Lisa Willet, vice chair for Education in the Department of Medicine, “Dr. Williams is an exceptionally effective advocate for diversity that enhances all we do in medicine. Her vision for equity and inclusion and her accomplishments encompass all our ideals for excellence.”

Williams received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and was a resident and chief resident at UAB. Her research is focused on increasing diversity and cultivating environments that promote inclusion throughout graduate medical education. Since arriving to UAB in 2014, she has been a leader in the program’s Diversity Enrichment Committee, steering initiatives that increase the exposure and notoriety of the internal medicine program as well as other GME programs on regional and national platforms among those who are underrepresented in medicine.