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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Update (September 15, 2020)

September 15, 2020
by Inginia Genao

Our country is going through troubling times. Because of this, it is even more important now to let people internally and externally know about our values and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Department of Internal Medicine.

You will start seeing this intentional effort throughout our website, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts. Faculty and trainees will be featured, sharing the importance of diversity through videos or static graphics. I encourage you to share and retweet these efforts using the hashtag #YaleDEI. Our communications team will be contacting faculty, residents, and fellows to participate in this project. Please partner with them on this endeavor. In addition, I will send a monthly email update on our DEI efforts to share what we are working on regarding recruiting and education. This column will also be featured in D[IM]ensions newsletter.

You may recall that last fall, the department hired The Barthwell Group, a strategic management consulting group, to develop a strategic plan to increase diversity. Throughout the spring, they created a plan with milestones for the department leadership, faculty, and staff for review. Throughout the month of August, they met with section chiefs and vice chairs to seek their input.

On Monday, 9/14, we shared this plan during the monthly faculty meeting. Our high-level goals are to enhance our recruitment and retention process; value an individual’s DEI engagement; be accountable and transparent. We ask that faculty provide input on our goals before we finalize the plan. We want to hear from you. Please reach out to your Section Chief or to me directly with your input. If you missed the meeting, you can watch the replay starting on Friday, 9/18 on the intranet.

Some initiatives are already underway. Some sections are hiring new DEI positions for their faculty. Other sections are adding DEI and health equity curriculum.

As a department, we are creating a new Distinction Pathway for Race, Bias, and Disparities in Medicine, which we plan to launch academic year 2020-2021.

On Wednesday, 9/2, we held a virtual zoom event for underrepresented in medicine medical students. Program leaders and current residents within our department and across GME and YSM spoke to potential residents. The 1.5 hour session hosted 100 potential trainees.

I told our future trainees that we are “doing a lot of work to ensure when you come to Yale, that you stay at Yale, and that is our pledge. It’s not enough to recruit you, but we are responsible for your success. And that is what you’re going to hear today from our leaders and residents in training.”

I ask that you to read the recent article from Harvard Business Review, "How to Promote Racial Equity in the Workplace." It goes over several steps in addition to increasing awareness for equity. It also highlights the power and influence we have as leaders to promote racial equity.

Thank you for your dedication to weave diversity, equity, and inclusion into our department’s culture. I look forward to hearing from you on our plan.


Inginia Genao, MD, FACP

Associate Chair, Diversity & Inclusion

Submitted by Julie Parry on September 17, 2020