Diversity Champion toolkit

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Local fourth graders visited the University of Iowa to meet Diversity Champion Dr. Nkanyezi Ferguson, MD, FAAD, who told them about life as a dermatologist. 

Become a diversity champion

Multiple studies have shown that a diverse medical workforce is more effective in reducing healthcare disparities. A Diversity Champion is a dermatologist who is committed to improving diversity in dermatology and gets involved in activities to achieve this goal.

Diversity Champion toolkit

The AAD has developed this toolkit to help anyone interested in working as a “champion” to increase early awareness and exposure of those underrepresented in medicine (UIM) to dermatology. Included are steps on how to start, ideas for outreach, background data and information, presentation templates, videos, and links to articles and other resources on this topic.

 

  • For community dermatologists
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    Alex Ortega, MD, FAAD, assistant professor of dermatology at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, works with medical and graduate students to creatively engage middle school, high school and college students in medicine and science.

    Community dermatologists who serve as Diversity Champions are valuable partners for academic dermatology departments in achieving diversity in dermatology. They can help solve the problem of lack of role models and mentors for UIM students and help guide these individuals towards a successful career in dermatology. 

    Step one:  Identify a medical school dermatology department

    Step two:  Reach out to the department and ask to meet with faculty members involved in medical student education, particularly education and mentorship of UIM students

    Step three: Discuss the current opportunities at the medical school to improve diversity and how you can play a role in them

    Step four: Discuss the items in the Diversity Champion Toolkit and how these items can be implemented at the medical school and surrounding community

    Step five: Organize and participate in pipeline, mentorship, volunteerism and educational activities towards UIM students

    Outreach ideas

    • Participate in high school preparatory programs conducted by their medical school to reach out to gifted UIM high school students who come to their medical school with their parents for enrichment programs.

    • Participate in programs that introduce UIM high school students to the excitement and promise of cutaneous research.

    • Visit or coordinate visits to local colleges at least twice per year and speak to MAPS, LMSA and SNMA chapters to encourage them to apply to medical school and dermatology in particular. Choose colleges with a high number of UIM students. State schools are often best for this purpose.

    • Pizza party for UIM medical students within the first 2 months of starting medical school to introduce them to dermatology as a specialty and UIM dermatologists. The UIM dermatologists should discuss why they went into dermatology and the importance of UIM’s in dermatology. Consider inviting students in MAPS for the pizza party as well. Teach them about dermatology and guide them in applying to medical school.

    • Mentor a group of UIM medical students who volunteer to speak to UIM students in local high schools, middle schools and elementary schools, particularly in schools with large numbers of UIM students. Monitor and support this “pipeline” program.

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    Students in the Pipeline Program are given a wristband.

    Mentoring ideas

    • Become a mentor for the Diversity Mentorship program.

    • Participate in mentorship programs sponsored by the Skin of Color Society, Women’s Dermatological Society and other groups for students from diverse backgrounds.

    • Participate in a mentorship program made up of medical school faculty for UIM medical students to guide them during medical school, especially during the first year.

      • Talk to them before their first major test and after subsequent major tests.
      • Meet them for lunch or dinner routinely to support, encourage and walk alongside them during this stressful time.
      • Guide them towards tutoring services, counseling and upper level students when necessary.
      • Help to develop such a “Gotcha Covered” program at their medical school.

    • Serve with students at a free dermatology clinic on a routine basis and get them involved in dermatology. This is often how UIM students who are on the fence regarding dermatology ultimately decide on dermatology as a career, when they see how dermatologic illnesses greatly impact the poor and marginalized individuals in our society.

  • For faculty dermatologists

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    Alex Ortega, MD, FAAD, assistant professor of dermatology at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine is the faculty sponsor for the first medical Spanish elective sponsored by a medical school in the United States.

    Dermatology faculty members play a critical role in improving diversity in dermatology. Faculty members are responsible for selecting the next generation of dermatologists in our country. Use of the strategies included in the Diversity Champion Toolkit by faculty members is likely to result in a more diverse dermatology workforce.

    Step one: Discuss goals of the dermatology residency selection process and develop a mission statement with the department chair and faculty members. This statement should include diversity as a goal.

    Step two: Meet with the Dean of Diversity in your medical school to discuss current programs to support UIM medical students as well as outreach programs to local colleges and schools

    Step three: Develop a diversity committee in your department consisting of faculty members who are committed to improving diversity

    Step four:  Discuss the current opportunities at the medical school to improve diversity

    Step five: Discuss the items in the Diversity Champion Toolkit and how they can be implemented at your medical school and surrounding community

    Step six: Develop a budget for these activities and a plan to acquire the resources to cover these costs.

    Step seven: Recruit faculty, community dermatologists, medical students, college students and other individuals to help you implement the strategies included in the toolkit

    Step eight: Implement activities in the toolkit and develop ways to measure their impact.

    Step nine: Report the activities in your medical school and their impact to the AAD Diversity Task Force


    Outreach ideas

    • Dermatology faculty member could join the admissions committee of the medical school to help improve diversity among medical students. Suggest that the committee consider giving merit to non-traditional criteria, such as obstacles overcome, distance traveled, cultural competence, likelihood to practice in an underserved area and interpersonal intelligence. Present the new Advancing Holistic Review Model by the AAMC2 and the Making Caring Common project by Harvard.3

    • Dermatology faculty could provide data to admissions committee members, dermatology department members and other leaders in their medical school showing improved health outcomes when patients receive culturally competent care and when the health care provider workforce is diverse. This data can be found in multiple publications.4-13

    • Develop a Diversity Committee in the dermatology department.

    • Dermatology department could consider bringing in nationally known speakers to talk about race and health.

    • Department could incorporate unconscious bias training for dermatology faculty, particularly those involved in residency and fellow interviews and screening of applicants.

    • Consider increased outreach to UIM applicants through double-review of their applications, explicit messaging in the recruitment process, extra communication with UIM candidates before and during the interview process and extra information on minority opportunities and minority affairs in UIM candidate packets during interviews.

    • Develop a second look program to bring UIM candidates back to the department of dermatology for another visit and a meeting with the diversity committee.

    • Send a department representative to the national meetings for MAPS, LMSA and SNMA to convey information about dermatology and the AAD.

    • Provide your medical school and other regional medical schools SNMA, LMSA chapters with a list of UIM faculty from your dermatology department that are willing to serve as a mentor and to discuss dermatology as a career and the application process for residency.

    • Develop stipends to allow UIM high school students to conduct summer research in Dermatology laboratories.

    Mentoring ideas

    • Become a mentor for the Diversity Mentorship program

    • Participate in mentorship programs sponsored by the Skin of Color Society, Women’s Dermatological Society and other groups for students from diverse backgrounds.

    • Participate in a mentorship program made up of medical school faculty for UIM medical students to guide them during medical school, especially during the first year.

      • Talk to them before their first major test and after subsequent major tests.
      • Meet them for lunch or dinner routinely to support, encourage and walk alongside them during this stressful time.
      • Guide them towards tutoring services, counseling and upper level students when necessary.
      • Help to develop such a “Gotcha Covered” program at their medical school.

    • Serve with students at a free dermatology clinic on a routine basis and get them involved in dermatology. This is often how UIM students who are on the fence regarding dermatology ultimately decide on dermatology as a career, when they see how dermatologic illnesses greatly impact the poor and marginalized individuals in our society.

  • Presentations and resources

    Presentations

    Download presentations for students, staff and the community by Kanya Ferguson, MD, FAAD, Assistant Professor, Dermatology Department, University of Iowa.


    American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC):


    Next Generation of Academic Physicians (BNGAP):


    LGBTQ resources

     

    Additional references:

    1. Pandya AG, Alexis AF, Berger TG, Wintroub BU, Increasing racial and ethnic diversity in dermatology: A call to action, J Am Acad Dermatol 2016; 74: 584-587

    2. Advancing Holistic Review Initiative, Association of American Medical Colleges, https://www.aamc.org/initiatives/holisticreview/

    3. Making Caring Common Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education, http://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/

    4. Cooper LA, Roter DL, Johnson RL, Ford DE, Steinwachs DM, Powe NR. Patient centered communication, ratings of care, and concordance of patient and physician race. Ann Int Med. 2003; 139:907-915

    5. Cooper LA, Powe NR. Disparities in patient experiences, health care processes, and outcomes: the role of patient-provider racial, ethnic, and language concordance. Commonwealth Fund; 2004. Available at: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2004/jul/disparitiesin-
    patient-experi encesehealth-care-processeseand-outcomesethe-role-ofpatientprovide
    . Accessed December 12, 2015.

    6. Komaromy M, Grumbach K, Drake M, et al. The role of black and Hispanic physicians in providing health care for underserved populations. N Engl J Med. 1996; 334:1305-1310

    7. Marrast LM, Zallman L, Woolhandler S, Bor DH, McCormick D. Minority physicians’ role in the care of underserved patients: diversifying the physician workforce may be key in addressing health disparities. JAMA Intern Med. 2014; 174: 289-291

    8. Okike K, Utuk ME, White AA. Racial and ethnic diversity in orthopedic surgery residency programs. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2011; 93:e1072011

    9. Bernstein J, Dicaprio MR, Mehta S. The relationship between medical school instruction in musculoskeletal medicine and application rates to orthopedic surgery residency programs. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004; 86:2335-2338

    10. Thomas CL. African Americans and women in orthopedic residency: the Johns Hopkins experience. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1999; 362:65-71

    11. Saha S. Taking diversity seriously: the merits of increasing minority representation in medicine. JAMA Intern Med. 2014; 174:291-292

    12. Thomas B, Manusov EG, Wang A, Livingston H. Contributors of black men’s success in admission to and graduation from medical school. Acad Med. 2011;
    86:892-900

    13. Imadojemu S, James WD. Increasing African American representation in dermatology. JAMA Dermatol 2016; 15-16

    14. Lester J, Wintroub B, Linos E, Disparities in Academic Dermatology, JAMA Dermatol 2016; 152:878-879