May 25, 2021

Landefeld named 2021 Dean’s Excellence Award Winner in Diversity Enhancement

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LandefeldSeth Landefeld, M.D., professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine, is the senior faculty winner of the 2021 Dean’s Excellence Award in Diversity Enhancement.

In his eight years at UAB, Landefeld has demonstrated extraordinary energy, leadership, and persistence in enhancing diversity in the department—through its residency training program, its compensation structure, and its culture.

Landefeld’s foundational efforts in the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Training Program began by rekindling a relationship with the program’s first Black/African American chief medical resident Carl E. Dukes, M.D. The connection with this alumnus yielded an endowment that provides critical resources for URIM pipeline recruitment activities as well as financial support for a Director of Diversity and Inclusion in the program. The first two such directors—Latesha Elopre, M.D., MSPH, and Karla Williams, M.D.—both received the Dean’s Excellence Award for Diversity Enhancement as Junior Faculty for their transformative work.

Landefeld also broke ground in gender equity in the department by implementing the first systematic reviews of compensation. Beginning with reviews of clinical compensation in each of the department’s 11 divisions every six months, he led division directors and administrators to identify and resolve patterns of gender-related differences that were not explained by clinical work. Today, similar percentages of men and women are paid above the AAMC median salary in their specialties.

In 2015, Landefeld appointed a vice chair for Culture and Diversity, creating the first diversity-focused department-level position in the School of Medicine. Since then, he has worked closely with Monica Baskin, Ph.D.—herself a Dean’s Excellence Awardee—in this role to articulate the core value of diversity across the Department. As a result, there are now clearly established procedures in place that define our culture and encourage a more inclusive community.

Landefeld completed his undergraduate work at Harvard and New College, Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar; then he received his medical degree from Yale University. He trained in internal medicine at UCSF and in clinical epidemiology at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, member of the Association of American Physicians, and a master of the American College of Physicians.