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Voices of DEI: Kathleen Akgün, MD, MS

September 07, 2021
by Amy Anderson

Introducing Kathleen Akgün, MD, MS, of the Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine.

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

A safe environment that fosters creativity and innovation by individuals, regardless of sex, gender identify, race, ethnicity or sex, while also showing the courage to examine when DEI might be overlooked or taken for granted or less strongly represented in the environment.

Why do you value diversity?

The only way we can improve and progress is with a wide range of ideas entertained from different perspectives; helps also identify vulnerabilities, even if we think a system is working well already.

Why should an academic setting be equal and inclusive?

The heart of academics and academic success should lie in the ideas and innovations of a diverse population, rather than favoring narrow, pre-ordained, prescriptive phenotypes of success.

What do you look forward to most?


What changes have you noticed in the department?

More openness, dialogue about diversity and inclusion. Only 10 years ago, it seemed harder for the department to face its skeletons.

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; aims to provide 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 September 07, 2021