At the University of Colorado Internal Medicine Residency Program, we believe that a commitment to diversity will enable us to achieve the highest standards of excellence in all domains.
Diversity within our residency program not only enriches our resident
physicians’ experiences, it improves the quality of patient care. We
strive to strengthen our program by recognizing that differences in
race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and spiritual
practice are crucial to developing competent physician leaders who will deliver quality patient care with lasting impact on individuals and communities.
Within the Internal Medical Residency Program, we are continually striving to improve our inclusiveness:
- At the recruitment stage, we work to recruit students from a wide variety of backgrounds, and
ensure that applicants meet with a diverse set of faculty members
during their interview process. We also offer an invitation-based Second
Look program to help diverse applicants explore our program, campus and
community in depth.
- For current residents, we offer small-group coaching to all current
residents, a program led by the Department of Medicine Vice Chair for
Diversity and Equity, Sonia Flores, PhD. This small-group work connects
residents with faculty members outside the residency program who can
help navigate academic, clinical and cultural concerns, and links
residents with community partners that deliver healthcare to
- Our diversity ambassadors (see sidebar) are faculty members who
facilitate our coaching program, leading meaningful conversations around
issues of bias, equity, social justice, and inclusion.
- Our attending physicians, along with other faculty in the Department
of Medicine, are receiving training to help increase awareness of the
effects of unconscious bias. We are also working with University of
Colorado Hospital and our affiliate clinical sites to develop best
practices for addressing issues of bias within the clinical setting.
- We are launching a Health Equities pathway, designed to provide
targeted training to students who aspire to careers addressing issues of
health disparities and community/public health.
Our commitment to diversity extends beyond the Internal Medicine
Residency Program to the Department of Medicine, the School of Medicine,
the campus and the community.
Diversity on our campus:
the Department of Medicine, Sonia Flores, PhD was appointed Vice Chair
for Diversity and Justice in 2016. Dr. Flores is a professor in the
Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, and was the
program director of an NIGMS-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student
Diversity; she has been the Program Director of the
NHLBI-funded GEMS (Graduate Experiences for Multicultural Students)
program for the past 16 years. Dr. Flores is committed to increasing
diversity among housestaff, fellows and faculty by incorporating social
science theories and focusing on cultural competence. The Department of
Medicine also sponsors the DREAM Program, which brings medical students from underrepresented groups into CU's research labs.
At the campus level, Brenda Allen, PhD (Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion) and Shanta Zimmer, MD (Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion) lead the way in developing a faculty, housestaff, and student body that best reflects the patients for whom we care. We invite you to explore the CU School of Medicine's Diversity and Inclusion website to learn about resources available to current and prospective residents through the School of Medicine.
University of Colorado Organization for Racial and Ethnic Support
(UCOLORES), founded in 2010, provides support and community for faculty,
residents, staff and students of color through monthly meetings. This
group helps build bridges and develop relationships by creating
mentoring partnerships, providing support for faculty development and
promotion, and encouraging connections for research collaborations. The
group also hosts community engagement activities throughout the year
(book club, social events) as well as an annual Toast to Diversity
event, which celebrates our campus and also serves as a "call to action"
to create community and improve our diversity efforts.
Other student/trainee groups active on campus include:
CU’s Urban Underserved Track (CU-UNITE)
is a longitudinal track for students at the CU School of Medicine and
the CU College of Nursing designed for students interested in working
with urban underserved communities, including refugee communities.
Although this track is for medical/nursing/PA students, it offers
opportunities for interactions with our internal medicine residents.
Diversity in our community:
CU’s Community-Campus Partnership
connects our campus to the broader Aurora community, which (according
to the 2010 census) is the most diverse community in the Denver metro
area. More than half of Aurora’s 350,000 residents belong to a minority
population, and over 100 languages are spoken in Aurora Public Schools.
Aurora has also become an entry point for refugees coming to Colorado,
and the development of an immigration center and educational and
outreach program for Aurora’s new diverse populations has become a city
CU internal medicine residents do rotations at several affiliates
serving highly diverse populations, including Denver Health and the VA
We invite you to contact our diversity ambassadors and residents (see sidebar) to
learn more about how our program supports a diverse and inclusive
Geoff Connors, MD