Diversity & Inclusion

At the University of Colorado Internal Medicine Residency Program, we believe that a commitment to diversity will enable us to achieve the highest standards of excellence in all domains.

Diversity within our residency program not only enriches our resident physicians’ experiences, it improves the quality of patient care. We strive to strengthen our program by recognizing that differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and spiritual practice are crucial to developing competent physician leaders who will deliver quality patient care with lasting impact on individuals and communities.

Within the Internal Medical Residency Program, we are continually striving to improve our inclusiveness: 

  • At the recruitment stage, we work to recruit students from a wide variety of backgrounds, and ensure that applicants meet with a diverse set of faculty members during their interview process.
  • For current residents, we offer small-group coaching to all current residents, a program led by the Department of Medicine Vice Chair for Diversity and Equity, Sonia Flores, PhD. This small-group work connects residents with faculty members outside the residency program who can help navigate academic, clinical, and cultural concerns, and links residents with community partners that deliver healthcare to under-served populations.
  • Our diversity ambassadors are faculty members who facilitate our coaching program, leading meaningful conversations around issues of bias, equity, social justice, and inclusion.
  • Our attending physicians, along with other faculty in the Department of Medicine, are receiving training to help increase awareness of the effects of unconscious bias. We are also working with University of Colorado Hospital and our affiliate clinical sites to develop best practices for addressing issues of bias within the clinical setting.
  • We are launching a Health Equities pathway, designed to provide targeted training to students who aspire to careers addressing issues of health disparities and community/public health.

Our commitment to diversity extends beyond the Internal Medicine Residency Program to the Department of Medicine, the School of Medicine, the campus, and the community.

Diversity on Our Campus

sonia floresIn the Department of Medicine, Sonia Flores, PhD was appointed Vice Chair for Diversity and Justice in 2016. Dr. Flores is a professor in the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, and was the program director of an NIGMS-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity; she has been the Program Director of the NHLBI-funded GEMS (Graduate Experiences for Multicultural Students) program for the past 16 years.

Dr. Flores is committed to increasing diversity among housestaff, fellows and faculty by incorporating social science theories and focusing on cultural competence. The Department of Medicine also sponsors the DREAM Program, which brings medical students from underrepresented groups into CU's research labs.

Brenda Allen

At the campus level, Brenda Allen, PhD (Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion) and Shanta Zimmer, MD (Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion) lead the way in developing a faculty, housestaff, and student body that best reflects the patients for whom we care.

We invite you to explore the CU School of Medicine's Diversity and Inclusion website to learn about resources available to current and prospective residents through the School of Medicine. 

The University of Colorado Organization for Racial and Ethnic Support (UCOLORES), founded in 2010, provides support and community for faculty, residents, staff and students of color through monthly meetings.

shanta zimmerThis group helps build bridges and develop relationships by creating mentoring partnerships, providing support for faculty development and promotion, and encouraging connections for research collaborations. The group also hosts community engagement activities throughout the year (book club, social events) as well as an annual Toast to Diversity event, which celebrates our campus and also serves as a "call to action" to create community and improve our diversity efforts.


Other student/trainee groups active on campus include:

Diversity in Our Community:

CU internal medicine residents do rotations at several affiliates serving highly diverse populations, including Denver Health and the VA Medical Center. According to the 2010 census, Aurora is the most diverse community in the Denver metro area with more than half of Aurora’s 350,000 residents belonging to a minority population, and over 100 languages spoken in Aurora Public Schools. Aurora has also become an entry point for refugees coming to Colorado, and the development of an immigration center and educational and outreach program for Aurora’s new diverse populations provides our residents with ample opportunity to learn and provide high-quality care to underserved populations.

We invite you to contact our diversity ambassadors and residents to learn more about how our program supports a diverse and inclusive environment.

Thank you,

Geoff Connors, MD
Program Director


"Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance."

- Verna Myers