I am pleased to report an update on our commitment to implementing social justice at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM). While RUSM has long valued diversity and inclusion, the George Floyd tragedy served as a catalyst to form taskforce that could create sustained and meaningful change. Though this will be a journey, we remain committed in our pursuit and will be held accountable for the results.
We are now entering the fourth month since our taskforce launched and our progress since then has included:
Launched Safe Discussion Platforms / Race in Medicine Presentations
- Student Speaker Series, hosted by faculty and guest speakers
- Social Justice and Liberation
- Health Disparities in Pediatric Medicine
- How to be Culturally Competent When Treating a Black Patient
- Becoming the Woke MD
- Women in Medicine Panel
- Alumni Panel Discussions to current RUSM students
- Diversity in Medicine
- Bias and Racial Disparities in Medicine
- Dean’s Office Lunch-Bag Speaker Series
- Structural Racism, Social Determinants of Health and Medical Education
- Health Equity in Medical Education
- Dean’s Office Journal Club
- Faculty and employees presented articles focused on issues of race in medicine
Instituted Faculty Initiatives
- Action Research Project
- Cultural Humility: Building Life-long Capacity for Cultural Competency
- MERS Seminar
- Cultural Competency: A Life-long Journey or Destination, Literature review presentation
Implemented Curriculum Addition
- Student-Proposed Anti-racism Reading Program (to begin October 2020)
- Following assigned reading, incoming medical students will engage in an open discussion about the role of race in medicine. Small-group discussions will be facilitated by an RUSM faculty member and upper-semester student.
Introduced/Continued University Programs
- Conversation Series about Injustice in America and Our Actions for Change at RUSM
- Orientation Module for new, incoming students on diversity and inclusion
- Orientation Activity on cross-cultural conversations
- Awareness Efforts for the Access and Inclusion in Medicine (AIM) Scholars Program, which increases medical education access to student scholars from diverse backgrounds. These future graduates will have a direct impact in providing care to medically underserved communities; thereby decreasing health disparities in the US.
As outlined on our Social Justice Commitment page, we continue to strive for a just and inclusive RUSM environment free from racism, discrimination, prejudice, injustice, disparities and inequities. We strive to educate the RUSM community as part of an ongoing effort to grow, learn and change. And we advocate for social justice by confronting and addressing racism, implicit bias and injustice.
Since the start of our Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in June, we:
- Created a student diversity and inclusion working group
- Introduced a diversity and inclusion chair position for the Student Government Association
- Proposed a project charter as well as a diversity and inclusion policy
- Finalized a diversity and inclusion strategic plan for RUSM leadership review
- Completed the American Association of Medical Colleges Healthcare Executive Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program
Meet Task Force Members
For this vivacious, no-nonsense RUSM student, it’s an honor and privilege to be called a Black woman. Raven Lewis, who was raised to be mindful of her behavior around Caucasians, is convinced the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement will finally nudge the needle. Read more.
His 6’5” athletic build coupled with his skin color screams basketball player to most strangers. RUSM student Uzoma Dike wants to stop the random yet frequent inquiries and be recognized for his smarts instead of his presumed sports ability. Read more.
The taskforce members will meet again this month. Please continue to share your feedback with us to ensure your voice is heard.