Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Monica Vela, MD, directs coursework designed to promote the advocacy efforts of medical students interested in ending health disparities and physician communication skills across cultures. Her research spans medical education on health disparities and care of limited English proficiency patients, as well as diversity in the medical profession. She mentors junior faculty addressing disparities in health on the South Side of Chicago.
Vela's course is the only course in the extant literature shown to improve diversity of medical school applicants and improve the cultural climate among students. She has directed three pipeline programs targeting the promotion of minority students into scientific research and the health profession.
In 2012, she won the American College of Physician’s National Award for Diversity and Access to Care. In 2014, she was awarded the Society of General Internal Medicine National Herbert Nickens Award for Diversity and Minority Health, as well as the inaugural Alpha Omega Alpha Fellow in Leadership Award and the University of Chicago Distinguished Faculty Award for Community Service.