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Voices of DEI: Jacquelyne Gaddy, MD, MSc

May 02, 2023
by Amy Anderson

Introducing Jacquelyne Gaddy, MD, MSc, of Medical Oncology.

What does diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you personally?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a fundamental system that through its collective factors contribute to safe, collegial, and progressive academic environments. Diversity to me is a body that strives to include all. This body lacks homogeneity, but instead reflects individuals from unique, marginalized, privileged, underserved communities. Equity ensures that each individual from this diverse population is given the tools needed to contribute to equal playing fields. It is understood that some may require more tools which demonstrates the difference between equity and equality. Equity determines who may require more or less with the goal of assuring all have equal chances of similar opportunities or outcomes. Inclusion assures that despite one's identity (inward or outward) they have a voice which can be spoken in a space where they are regarded, valued, and protected.

Why do you value diversity?

I value diversity because my lived experience as a Black woman has forced me to experience the inequities of my intersectional identity. My Blackness has often caused me to feel the burden of being marginalized. My uniqueness has often contributed to less than valued experiences. Despite these burdens I strive to assure that my voice contributes to the understanding of why diversity yields safe, positive, and progressive environments. I value diversity because I understand that our patients represent significant diversity and they should be made to feel that we value their contribution to diversity. I also understand that patients value being seen by providers that may speak or look like them. By enhancing diversity we will equally enhance patient outcomes and overall experience. I value diversity because our URiM trainees should never feel less than because of their contribution to diversity. I value diversity because diversity is what I am and what has allowed me to excel in medicine.

Why should an academic setting be equal and inclusive?

The academic setting is where we make history. Innovative ideas transform into standard of care over time. Innovation is not derived from a homogenous population, but instead a population that contains diverse ideas, backgrounds, and beliefs. By creating diverse working environments that are equal and inclusive we will encourage marginalized individuals to become their authentic selves. Authenticity is critical to progress in any fashion. Authenticity invokes trust and vulnerability which is critical for all academic setting relationships, whether it be the mentor/mentee dyad vs the patient/provider dyad.

What do you look forward to most?

I look forward to continued improvement in workforce diversity and the development of allies to enhance the experience of generally marginalized faculty members and patients.

What have you noticed in the department?

I have noticed that my unique voice is deeply valued. I have observed a strong commitment to enhancing workforce diversity through pipeline programs and other innovations. I have noticed our commitment to health equity through increased funding opportunities and faculty recruitment.

The Department of Internal Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Internal Medicine knows that diversity, equity, and inclusion is critical to our mission; that providing a safe, welcoming environment for people of all backgrounds results in beneficial diversity of thought; and believes that having a diverse team enhances our ability to provide excellent clinical care, research, and medical education.

Submitted by Amy Anderson on May 02, 2023