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members of the Resident Diversity Committee at the park
members of the Resident Diversity Committee at the park
June 22, 2022

Resident Diversity Committee: A year in review

Led by residents in partnership with program leadership, the Resident Diversity Committee (RDC) is focused on promoting equity and inclusion in the Internal Medicine Residency Program.
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Diversity Education

The Resident Diversity Committee’s mission centers around “fostering an inclusive environment that supports and celebrates diversity by proactively working to increase diversity among future residents, and by creating robust, interactive educational opportunities to improve our care of marginalized populations.”

Over the last year, the RDC has launched several programs and initiatives to promote equity, diversity and inclusion through program stewardship, curriculum building, recruitment and retention, and advocacy.

Curriculum building

The UW IM Residency Program received a grant award from the ABIM's Building Trust and Equity in IM Training for the innovative new Health Equity and Antiracism Curriculum.

The RDC curriculum committee (Lynsey Bernfeld, Anna Morenz, Nick Wang, and Hasib Yousufzai) took a lot of time on top of their clinical responsibilities to develop a thoughtful, progressive curriculum for resident learners on equity and anti-racism that was recognized by the ABIM through a funding award in a very competitive grant process. Curricula was designed and the application was prepared completely by RDC leadership with support from UWMC IM chief resident Ryan Johnson Abe.

Seeking to establish more dedicated spaces for EDI curricula, the RDC designed and hosted three Academic Half-Days for fellow residents. Two half-days were focused on the history of racism in healthcare and structural racism in the city of Seattle as it related to BIPOC communities. One half-day was focused on building a diverse healthcare workforce across subspecialties in internal medicine and highlighting the opportunities for EDI work across disciplines.

Recruitment and retention

Through dedicated recruitment events for URM applicants and designing interview questions that support EDI as a core competency of the residency program, the RDC helped lead the program in the recruitment of the most diverse intern class ever:

54% women and 33% URM (from a racial/ethnic background under-represented in medicine), and increased representation from LGBTQIA+ communities, first generation college students, and diverse religious backgrounds.

Research and Scholarship

The Research committee focuses on expanding opportunities for research and scholarship during residency. This year, the RDC allocated $3,000 to 6 recipients through the RDC research grant, a resident-led grant dedicated to funding resident research for EDI-centered projects as well as research for those who identify as URM or LGBTQIA+. RDC leadership solicited and scored applications for merit and contributions to the field of EDI research.

Program Stewardship

The RDC provides vital perspective on many important decisions that shape a resident’s training experience.

The RDC piloted a new initiative to develop standardized questions for rotation, resident, and faculty evaluations to better measure commitment to EDI in clinical interactions and team environments. This pilot will serve to inform future initiatives to disseminate standardized EDI questions across GME programs.

Leaders from the RDC also led resident engagement in Dr. Genevieve Pagalilauan's selection as the residency program's new primary care track director. RDC leadership liaised with the search committee, provided feedback on priorities for candidates, and served on a resident panel of interviewers for finalists for the position.

Community building

Central to the mission of the RDC is fostering an inclusive environment for all residents that supports and celebrates diversity. Their numerous community-building events throughout the year provide a safe space for URM, LGBTQIA+, and allied residents to engage with EDI issues and provide support to each other.

These events are vital for resident wellness and retention of residents from under-represented groups. Special thanks to Assistant Program Director Dan Cabrera to supporting these events with his attendance and opening up his home to host these events.

2021-2022 RDC leadership

Executive chairs: Anisha Ganguly (graduating), Oyinkan Osobamiro (rising chief resident), and Hao Tong (rising chief resident)

Finance and administrative chair: Theresa Thai (graduating)

Curriculum chairs: Lynsey Bernfeld (rising chief resident), Anna Morenz (rising GIM research fellow), Nick Wang (rising R3), and Hasib Yousufzai (rising HMC hospitalist)

Recruitment chairs: Priyanka Anand (rising R3), Khalida Arif (rising R3), and Rasheed Durowoju (rising cardiology fellow)

LGBTQIA+ affinity group chairs: Michael Deng (rising R3) and Kayla Sheridan (rising chief resident)

Mentorship and wellness chairs: Gabby Paras (rising R3) and Alison Uyeda (rising noctensivist)

Research chairs: Karen Rico (rising R3) and Nick Wang (rising R3)

Communications chair: Derek Eppright (graduating)