School of Medicine Diversity Plan


"Mitigating disparities in health and eradicating disparities in health care will bring us closer to the ideals at the foundation of our profession."

   - King TE, Wheeler MB. Inequality in health care: Unjust, inhumane and unattended. Ann Intern Med. 2004; 141:815-817.

Commitment to Diversity

Diversity is central to the educational, research, service and health care missions of the University of Colorado School of Medicine (SOM). The SOM’s definition of diversity embraces age, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, immigration status, political beliefs, language and ability status. The SOM definition of diversity also includes life experiences, record of military or other public service, immigration status and other talents and personal attributes that enhance the scholarly, clinical care and learning environment. 

The SOM values and celebrates differences. Working with community partners, the SOM will strive to promote quality and equity in healthcare and, ultimately, eliminate racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health in the communities we serve.
Therefore, the SOM will strive to admit qualified students and appoint qualified residents, fellows, faculty, staff and administrators who represent diversity, as broadly defined. The SOM will also develop and implement programs that are designed to: 
Promote the academic advancement and success of diverse students, residents and faculty, through mentorship, sponsorship and allyship; enhance equity and inclusion instruction throughout the curriculum; break down gender, racial and ethnic stereotypes and promote cross-cultural responsiveness; ensure accountability for addressing bias, discrimination, racism and injustice; and promote new areas of scholarship with the goal of achieving health equity. The SOM’s diversity and inclusion programs will also include efforts to address environmental, structural and socioeconomic determinants of health.

The SOM will work with school, campus and community partners to achieve the goals outlined above. In addition, the SOM will work to promote a school and campus culture that values inclusiveness, respect, justice and open communication.

Diversity in the School of Medicine

Diversity Plan

The students, residents, faculty and administration of the University of Colorado School of Medicine (SOM) believe that diversity is a value that is central to the School’s educational, research, community service and health care missions.  Therefore, the SOM is committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse student body, house staff, faculty and senior administration.  The SOM has adopted a definition of diversity that embraces race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, political beliefs, rural upbringing and socioeconomic status.   

In 2015 the School of Medicine revised its comprehensive Diversity Plan.  In the 2015 Plan the SOM articulated these 6 strategic goals. 1) admit qualified students and appoint qualified residents, fellows, faculty, staff and senior administrative leaders who represent diversity, focusing on the specific diversity categories outlined in the Plan; 2) promote the academic advancement and success of minority students, house officers and faculty; 3) enhance cultural, bilingual and diversity instruction throughout the curriculum; 4) break down racial, gender and ethnic stereotypes and promote cross-cultural understanding and an inclusive climate; 5) strengthen outreach to underserved communities, through service and learning projects, health care outreach and community-based participatory research; and 6) promote unexplored research agendas and new areas of scholarship related to cultural and racial inequities in health and health care.  The SOM’s diversity programs seek to enhance diversity and cultural competency in the health care workforce, improve access to health care for poor, minority and under-served populations and, ultimately, eliminate racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health and health care services.

Improving the Health of Patients and Populations

There is strong evidence that achieving diversity of the health care workforce translates directly into improved delivery of health care services to underserved and minority populations.  As summarized by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in its 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Guide, “the climate enhanced by a diverse learner and teacher body ultimately increases students’ awareness of health and health care disparities in nearby populations and increases students’ interest in service to underserved communities and overall civic commitment.” 

The SOM’s 2015 Diversity Plan is also driven by a heightened awareness that diversity and inclusion strengthen teamwork and communication in patient care settings and are directly linked to improved treatment outcomes. 

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