Diversity & Inclusion MattersNovember 9, 2021

Fall 2021

Vice Dean's Message

Prominent Speakers at Feinberg

Pathway to Feinberg: Janet Rocha, PhD 

New Bias Module Lead

Feinberg Student Groups Host Regional Conferences

Minority Faculty Association Fall Kick-Off Networking Event

First-Generation Medical Student Group

SAMSA Student Group Launched

New Feinberg DEI Committees

Awards and Recognition

Events and Resources

Vice Dean's Message

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Feinberg Diversity & Inclusion Welcome Reception 2021

Welcome to the 2021 fall edition of Diversity & Inclusion Matters. We are not yet post hoc, but the scourge of COVID-19 may finally wane. A collective exhale is not yet possible, but envisioning our near and longer term future offers hope. Some of us, especially in the clinical enterprise, are at the brink of burnout; the spirit of emerging optimism is exactly the needed elixir. Many of us rejoice as we now cautiously enjoy the company of humans, real humans  in person  and less frequently on flat screens. Meetings, family gatherings, travel and so many of the life experiences that make us whole are re-birthed and celebrated. We can anticipate that those who reflect with brilliant prose the lessons learned from the past 20 months will help articulate visions of a new normal. Our vision of a new normal begins with embracing our renewed human networks offering support, belongingness and a stronger sense of community.

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Prominent Guest Speakers at Feinberg

Medical Education Keynote — From Bystander to Upstander: Advocacy in Action

As this year’s Medical Education Day keynote speaker on October 8, Kimberly Manning, MD, professor of Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine, gave a thought-provoking presentation on how to move beyond the 'bystander effect' and into action. She provided strategies to deal with incidents of bias, including what medical professionals and educators can do in the moment, what they can do afterwards, and how a more active approach to incidents can help keep under-represented people in the faculty pipeline.


"Why do people fall out of the pipeline? Some of it is these little moments that hurt us," Manning said. When approaching incidents of bias or microaggressions, Manning uses an approach she calls the "Five D’s": display discomfort, direct, distract, delegate or delay.

Nikole Hannah-Jones

We are thrilled to welcome Nikole Hannah-Jones as the 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote Speaker. Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times and creator of the landmark 1619 Project. She will participate in a moderated Q&A session on the Northwestern Chicago campus on Monday, January 24, 2022.


PATHWAY TO FEINBERG: JANET ROCHA, PHD

A Chicago Public School Student to Faculty at Feinberg School of Medicine: The Value of Untrainable Expertise

For the past decade, I have had the privilege to work with K-16th pipeline programs across the country, and I am humbled when students validate my role in these types of opt-in extramural experiences. Elizabeth Orta is one of those students. Our paths crossed during her freshmen year in high school when she became part of the Northwestern Medicine Scholars Program, a partnership pipeline program with Westinghouse College Prep. With her permission, I share her words here.

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New Bias Module Lead

Shawn Smith, MD, assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hospital-Based Medicine, is new to the M1 bias module and brings a refreshed and contemporary approach that makes an understanding of implicit bias palpable.


FEINBERG STUDENT GROUPS HOST REGIONAL CONFERENCES

Congratulations to Feinberg’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) for serving as the host organization for the SNMA regional conference on November 6. Over 200 participants were in attendance at this in-person event. The conference featured panels and talks by esteemed experts, suture skills and knot tying workshops, the Harvey Cardiac Simulator, a research symposium and pre-med and medical exhibitor fair. Thank you to all who supported this event. A special thanks to second-year medical students Fikayo Olamigoke and Mariam Goreish and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion's very own Anita Munoz.

The Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) student chapter is also proud to announce that the Feinberg chapter will be the host organization for their regional conference on February 11-12, 2022. Our medical student leaders, in partnership with offices across Feinberg and McGaw, aim to support current and future underrepresented students in medicine, address the needs of underserved communities and increase the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians. 


Minority Faculty Association Fall Kick-Off Networking Event

The Minority Faculty Association (MFA) hosted their first event of the academic year on September 15. Led by MFA founder Linda Suleiman, MD, and her executive board, the networking night brought together new and seasoned faculty to foster connections and support for those underrepresented in medicine and research. With more than 50 attendees, the MFA looks forward to hosting more events and programs for URM faculty throughout the year. For more information on the MFA, click here. To join the listserv to learn more about upcoming events and initiatives, please email deja.miguest@northwestern.edu.  


First-Generation Medical Student Group

Generation NU, a student group formed in January 2021 for medical students who self-identify as being the first in their immediate family to finish medical school, invites students to become members. The group provides a safe and supportive community for students to build a network of peers, mentors and resources to navigate the unique demands of medical school. Topics range from high-yield study tips, how to excel on the wards, imposter syndrome, managing expectations from family and friends, to day-in-the-life of a specialist. The group meets monthly (virtually) with community meet-up options. For more information, contact Natasha Nichols, MD (natasha.nichols@nm.org).


SAMSA STUDENT GROUP LAUNCHED

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The South Asian Medical Student Association (SAMSA) at Feinberg was recently formed by several students who noticed that there was a lack of a South Asian community on campus. Anahita Iyer, Prottusha Sarkar, Sunny Abdelmageed and Sara Malik, now in their second-year at Feinberg, created a GroupMe for Feinberg students of South Asian descent and held their first unofficial event last spring. The GroupMe was subsequently used by students to coordinate events such as Bollywood movie nights. In August, SAMSA was officially approved as a new student organization and welcomed new members at the M1 student activities fair.

The mission of SAMSA is to bring together medical students of South Asian descent at Feinberg to foster community, celebrate South Asian culture and diversity and provide mentorship for South Asian students in medicine. The organization also serves as a space for medical students of all backgrounds to learn about South Asian culture and how it interacts with health in South Asian communities. For any questions, you can contact Anahita Iyer, SAMSA president, at anahita.iyer@northwestern.edu.


New Feinberg DEI Committees

There are many extraordinary Feinberg staff and faculty members leading newly created Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism committees and taskforces within their units in order to address systemic inequities. The Office of Diversity & Inclusion hosted a kickoff event on Monday, October 25 to bring all leads together for more cohesive networking and future synergies.

Click here to see a list of existing DEI committees at Feinberg. If you lead a DEI committee and would like to be included on this list, please complete this brief form. We are especially interested in our Feinberg groups representing allied health careers, staff and the Graduate School. For any questions, please contact us at diversitymed@northwestern.edu.


Awards and Recognition

Congratulations to fourth-year medical student Caitlin Jacobs for being selected to a graduate fellowship sponsored by Northwestern’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR). Jacob’s research project, "Untold Stories: Interactions of Urban Native Peoples with Reproductive Healthcare,” will be presented at CNAIR’s annual research symposium.


Congratulations to the Disability Advocacy Coalition in Medicine (DAC Med) for receiving one of 12 social justice grants from The Graduate School at Northwestern. The grant was used to facilitate their first national conference, a student-led and student-focused conference entitled, "Advancing Disability Equity in Healthcare," held on October 16.


Congratulations to third-year Obstetrics & Gynecology resident Etoroabasi (Etoro) Ekpe, MD, MPH and third-year Emergency Medicine resident Parisa Kermani, MD, who are also co-presidents of STRIVE, for the outstanding work running the group’s mentorship program. Steadfast advocates for Underrepresented in Medicine students, Ekpe and Kermani have organized virtual sessions to review pertinent medical school content, preparing students for the rigors of residency. Despite their busy clinical work schedules in two busy residency programs and adapting to the limitations brought on by the pandemic, their work and efforts for the program have not skipped a beat. Their teamwork has ensured that STRIVE continues to have a strong presence as an invaluable resource for our medical students.


Events and Resources

The Chicago Coalition for Anti-Racism and Equity in Health (C-Care in Heath) invites you to join them in their efforts of addressing race-based clinical tools. C-Care in Health is comprised of students and members of the healthcare community, including Northwestern Medicine, University of Chicago and Rush University. Please see flyer for more details. For more information, please contact Olivia Bouchard at olivia_bouchard@rush.edu


Check out our Twitter account and follow us @FeinbergODI!


Have an idea for the newsletter or a comment on this issue? Would you like your research to be featured? Are you an alumnus who would like to share your experience?

Contact the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at diversitymed@northwestern.edu.