Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Diversity and Inclusion

Spring 2017 Recent Happenings


Quentin Youmans, '15 MD, has vivid memories of his days as a Feinberg medical student. Although those years were some of the best of his life, he does not hesitate to vocalize that many underrepresented minority (URM) medical students face unique challenges in medical education. A lack of the same resources available to non-URM students often leads to a more difficult time navigating the medical education system. To address this globally systemic problem, Youmans believes URM residents are uniquely equipped to provide support and mentoring to URM medical students because many of them faced and overcame the same challenges. In an effort to begin tackling this challenge, Youmans developed the Student to Resident Institutional Vehicle for Excellence (STRIVE) program at FSM specifically to provide a safe space for learning and collegiality for students by establishing a program that ensures a structured relationship between students and residents and fellows. Through regularly scheduled sessions, medical students are afforded the opportunity to explore the medical field from the perspective of residents and fellows through panel discussions, role modeling, and formal and informal mentoring. In addition to creating a supportive environment for URM students, the program also promotes diversity and inclusion at FSM. In its short history, STRIVE has had a major impact. It was featured in Northwestern University’s tenth annual Best Practices Forum earlier this week, and it serves as a core component of a funded grant, Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM) Mentoring Circles for Underrepresented Minority (URM) Students, that foregrounds mentoring circles as a mechanism to support and strengthen URM success at FSM by fostering a diverse, inclusive culture. The mentoring circles program engages students, a core of young alumni (residents and fellows) and junior and senior faculty members.   

Monica Vela, MD

Earlier this year, Monica Vela, MD, professor of Medicine and associate dean of multicultural affairs at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine presented a mini-lyceum, Language Concordant Care: Quality and Safety, to the Feinberg community. She engaged the audience in a lively discussion about common language proficiency challenges and opportunities in clinical settings. She highlighted the Clinician Cultural and Linguistic Assessment tool as an effective way to access and monitor physicians’ language proficiency.

Vela Presentation
Vela presents her views on language concordance.

Northwestern Medicine/Feinberg School of Medicine and University of Chicago Underrepresented Residents and Fellows

The idea for a collaborative resident and fellow networking dinner emerged during a Bowman Society Lecture Series presentation given by Feinberg’s Vice Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Clyde Yancy, MD. “We wanted to create a space for underrepresented minority residents and fellows to come together from different institutions in Chicago to foster a sense of community not just within our individual institutions but across the city. Community building is a critical component to our overall mission to develop professional and social connections to promote mentorship, networking and retention of minority housestaff,” said Dovie Watson, MD, HDC President 2016-2017, Internal Medicine, PGY3, University of Chicago Medical Center.

Jennifer Parker, MD, PhD, Underrepresented Residents and Fellows Forum President 2016-2017, Department of Radiation Oncology, Northwestern Medicine, proclaimed the dinner an overwhelming success, “It was the first official resident event, spearheaded by Northwestern, to bring those underrepresented in medicine together from Northwestern Medicine and University of Chicago. … The next step will be to expand these dinners to include similar groups at other institutions in the city,” she said.

Watson and Parker signing
Co-event organizers Dovie Watson, MD, and Jennifer Parker, MD, PhD, sign in prior to officially welcoming Northwestern Medicine and University of Chicago Medical Center residents and fellows.


Students Recruit at the Stanford University Minority Medical Alliance (SUMMA) Conference 

UCMC Residents and Fellows
University of Chicago Medical Center residents and fellows take a break from dinner to create an event memory.

Sangria Social

Sangria Social
Underrepresented minority students and physicians share a meal while discussing opportunities and challenges specific to women of color in the medical profession. Attending physicians, Khalilah Gates, MD, ’10 GME, Natasha Nichols, MD, ’15 ’16 GME, and Virginia Bishop, MD, MPH, check in with students.

Students Recruit at the Stanford University Minority Medical Alliance (SUMMA) Conference

SUMMA conference
Office of Diversity and Inclusion business coordinator Anita Munoz and students representing a range of student groups recruit for Feinberg at SUMMA. SUMMA’s goal is to increase diversity in the health professions in order to care for underserved communities. First rowleft to right, Anita Munoz, business coordinator, Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Nada Ali, M2; Second rowleft to right, Cynthia Perez, M3; Nenita Maganti, M2; Erica Malagon, M3; Third rowleft to right, Stewart Pine, M1, and Marcus Byrd, M1.