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Inclusion and Equity

A personal message from Sonia Flores, PhD


As Vice Chair for Diversity and Justice in the Department of Medicine and associate Program Director for Diversity of the Pulmonary Fellowship, I would like to welcome you to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine. If you are here, it means you are interested in our programs and the possibility of joining our team; we would be delighted if you choose to apply to our program and consider a career in our division.

Our Diversity Statement is based on the belief that diversity provides perspectives other than our own and allows vigorous discussions that ultimately result in a better outcome.  Furthermore, focus on diversity and equity allow all stakeholders to better relate to persons of different backgrounds and helps us become better citizens. We are deeply committed to increasing diversity of the physician and research workforce and to creating an environment where everyone matters and whose voices are equally heard.

Through the programs we have developed, we have endeavored to create a courageous space for honest and meaningful conversations and healthy conflict resolutions through mutual respect and trust. 

Here are some of the programs:

  •  Foundational bias workshops that aim to enhance awareness of implicit bias in all faculty and staff

  • We have developed tools to explore and address implicit bias

  • We are developing Speak Up tools to address everyday biases, including verbal abuse from patients, bias from peers or supervisors

  • We are implementing a model of peer coaching that aims to decrease burnout in fellows and postdocs. The coaching model is a model of training that deviates from the traditional mentor/mentee relationship and uses specially trained academic career coaches who provide guidance for navigating the academic medicine world.

  • The coaching model is designed both to improve participant’s perceptionsof academic careers and to help them achieve such careers by addressing the identity, self-efficacy, and cultural capital that they must develop to navigate research communities of practice. Coaches will be selected based on cultural competency or the desire to become culturally competent. To create a safe space for the fellows, the ideal coach should have no evaluative role in the fellow’s career. The coaching groups meet regularly and participants discuss issues and topics they would not discuss with their mentors or mentoring team.

  • GEMS program: The Graduate Experiences for Multicultural Students is an NHLBI-funded program that recruits undergraduate and medical students from populations under-represented in science and medicine and provides a summer research experience. This program, directed by Dr. Flores, has trained more than 270 students interested in biomedical research areas of interest in heart, lung and blood. Students are placed in pulmonary labs primarily where they interact closely with graduate students and fellows.


Sonia C. Flores, PhD
Vice Chair for Diversity and Justice
Sonia.Flores@UCDenver.edu
303-724-6084​

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