In recognition for the urgent need for the field of medicine to continue to adapt to and better align with societal needs and expectations, a growing number of leaders in academic medicine have call for academic health centers to redouble their efforts to increase the diversity of students, faculty and staff.
Although it is laudable to call for increased attention and efforts to diversify, it is of paramount importance to review and distill what we have learned from past efforts so that future energy can be spent intelligently to ensure greater impact going forward. (Association of American Medical Colleges. Striving Toward Excellence: Faculty Diversity in Medical Education. 2009)
The University of Colorado School of Medicine’s diversity programs also seeks to enhance diversity and cultural competency in the health care workforce, improve access to health care for poor, minority and under-served populations and, ultimately eliminate racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health and health services. (S. Lowenstein, R. Richards. University of Colorado School of Medicine Diversity Plan. 2015)
To this purpose we are reorganizing the School of Medicine Diversity Leadership Council which will include community, education, political, business and health agency leaders to serve as an “oversight council” for the school's Office of Diversity & Inclusion. This council will assist with strategic planning and oversight of goal implementation for the medical school diversity efforts. This committee will be chaired by Shanta Zimmer, MD, Associate Dean, Office of Diversity and Inclusion.