Community Building Among URiM Faculty, Residents, and Fellows
One of the principal goals of our diversity and inclusion work is to strengthen and enhance the community of URiM faculty and trainees in the department. The hope is that, by enhancing this affinity group, our colleagues will have a greater sense of belonging and feel more welcome within the Department of Medicine and be more likely to remain here as faculty.
Some notable events and initiatives have included:
- In Academic Year (AY) 2021, we hosted our first annual retreat for URiM residents, the theme of which was “Pathway to Leadership and Celebration of Excellence.” The retreat featured national leaders, including Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, as well as local leaders. For this and other conferences, retreats, and events, we have purposefully sought out Black-owned restaurants and bakeries for catering.
- We launched the Brigham D&I Twitter account in September 2020 (@Brigham_DI).
- We publish an annual Department of Medicine URiM Resident and Fellow Directory and a corresponding URiM Faculty Directory, which are now available online.
- In the wake of violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) individuals, we hosted a series of forums in AY21 to discuss how to best respond to these attacks. In follow-up, we formed the AAPI Committee, whose mission is to establish a community and network for AAPI-identifying housestaff and connect them to AAPI faculty and to advance cultural and ethnic diversity and understanding to deliver the best possible care for our patients.
Promoting Culture Change
We have undertaken several initiatives to promote culture change:
- Our Department purchased copies of So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo for faculty and hosted 10 book discussion groups in November 2020, which were facilitated by a mix of URiM faculty leaders and leaders from the hospital’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Many divisions also used the book to hold their own book discussion groups.
- We developed and launched the Department of Medicine’s Racial Justice Training program to encourage faculty, leaders, and educators to develop a shared language, knowledge, and understanding of history and racism in the U.S.; a shared health equity framework; and to provide a space to share, reflect, and catalyze anti-racist institutional change. The course – consisting of two 3-hour sessions – was developed and led by DEI leaders at BWH and delivered from February – May 2021. A total of 420 faculty participated, with division chiefs and vice chairs attending a dedicated leaders’ session and all residents receiving a shortened version of the training program during their class retreats.
- Led by Dr. Herrick “Cricket” Fisher, we provided microaggression recognition/response and bystander training to all residents, all program leadership, all key faculty, and all URiM faculty. This work was published as Fisher HN et al. J Gen Intern Med 2021. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-020-06576-6.