Diversity & Inclusion MattersJanuary 5, 2021

Winter 2021

From the Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion Week Explores Representation in Medicine

Class of 2024 Profile

MD Class Profiles: Michael Chidueme, Erick Masias and Caitlin Jacobs

Perspectives Podcast

Prioritizing Health Equity

Combating Discrimination in Medical Education

Reporting Bias in the Curriculum

Sustained Dialogue for Staff

All of Us Research Program

Awards & Recognition

Events & Resources

From the Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine's Office of Diversity & Inclusion has taken a decidedly intentional and unapologetic approach to diversity and inclusion in medicine and science. See how we are changing the face of medicine in this new video (above).

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As we exit the torment of 2020 and begin the hopefulness of 2021, we take time to reach out to the community served by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Office of Diversity & Inclusion. By now, there have been innumerable statements lamenting 2020 and expressing optimism for 2021, including restoration and full endorsement of the goals of this academic medical center. We embrace those sentiments, but the lens of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion is different and so is our sentiment.

In the spring issue of Diversity & Inclusion Matters, we reflected on the COVID-19 experience – the courageous response of our peer healthcare team members, the painful awareness of the depth of healthcare disparities and the disproportionate burden borne by communities of color. We all sensed a shared conviction that our commitment to excellence through diversity would persevere and that health equity was not a goal but an expectation.

Read more »

This issue of Diversity & Inclusion Matters is in tribute to Okechi Nwabara, MD, (University of Michigan, Class of 1980), physician, peer and best friend of John Franklin. Dr. Nwabara, a Nigerian immigrant, succumbed to COVID-19 after dutifully providing care to infected nursing home residents. This is just one of over 300,000 stories of peers, colleagues, friends and family members who have paid the ultimate price due to COVID-19.


Diversity & Inclusion Week Explores Representation in Medicine

In collaboration with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, student groups organized the medical school’s first Diversity & Inclusion Week, which explored the importance of diversity, inclusion and representation in medicine and society.

Read more »

CLASS OF 2024 PROFILE

One hundred sixty (160) students entered Feinberg’s first-year class: 85 women and 75 men. Twenty-three (23) percent are from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine. Members of the Class of 2024 were selected from a pool of 7,052 applicants.

View the full entering class profile here »

MD Class Profiles

First-Year Student Expresses Optimism for the Future of Medicine

COVID-19 has altered Michael Chidueme’s first couple weeks on campus, but it’s also changed how he thinks about his future profession.

Read more »

New Medical Student Reflects on His First Week at Feinberg

Erick Masias, a first-year medical student, reflected on his first week at Feinberg and shared what he’s looking forward to over the next four years.

Read more »

Medical Student Discusses Native American Medical Student Association

Caitlin Jacobs, a third-year medical student, helped establish Feinberg’s Association of Native American Medical Students last year to increase awareness of Native American health issues and foster better understanding of Native American cultures.

Read more »

Feinberg Perspectives Podcast Shares Reflections Amid Pandemic

In the second season of Feinberg’s essay-based podcast, Perspectives, members of the Northwestern Medicine community share their experiences and insights from the lab, the clinic and the broader community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen to season 2 here, which features insights from Quentin Youmans, MD, a resident physician in the Department of Medicine, and Carla Ellis, MD, associate professor and director of Wellness, Diversity & Inclusion in the Department of Pathology, among others.


Prioritizing Health Equity

As health inequities affect vulnerable populations, healthcare organizations must shift to a health equity centered, population health approach, according to a recent position paper from the National Academy of Medicine.

Read more »

Combating Discrimination in Medical Education

Medical schools can help combat discrimination by creating safe spaces for underrepresented minority (URM) medical students, according to Quentin Youmans, ’15 MD, who founded the STRIVE program which connects URM medical students at Feinberg with URM resident mentors.

Read more »

Reporting Bias in the Curriculum

As part of Feinberg’s efforts to improve the medical school’s inclusive learning environment, there is now a new curriculum bias reporting page hosted on the Office of Diversity & Inclusion website.

This feature allows students and trainees of all Feinberg programs to report biased content and/or lack of inclusion that they may encounter in their curriculum. These reports will be regularly monitored and shared with Feinberg leadership, so they can work to address any identified issues.

Outside of the curriculum, students should report concerns about other types of bias, harassment or mistreatment to the University. That link is also provided on the webpage.


Sustained Dialogue for Staff

This past fall, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, in collaboration with the Staff Engagement Committee, launched the inaugural Sustained Dialogue program for Feinberg staff. The cohort comprised of 15 staff members engaged in a series of dialogue sessions centered on race and racism. Led by experienced facilitators, they focused on a range of domains, including active listening and increasing awareness of challenges. As the program has recently concluded, participants are developing an action plan to create meaningful change at Feinberg. Efforts are underway to offer the program again in 2021, in large part, due to strong interest from staff.


All of Us Research Program

The right treatment, for the right person, at the right time!

We’re all different, but when we visit the doctor, our treatments are often the same.


We think one day healthcare should be tailored for you. The more researchers know about what makes each of us unique, the more tailored our healthcare can become. Join a research effort with one million or more people nationwide to create a healthier future for all of us.

There are several ways to support All of Us and our team would be happy to connect to discuss further. We invite you to learn more about our program at nm.org/joinallofus.

Phone: (312) 695-6077

Email: joinallofus@northwestern.edu

YouTube: The All of Us Anthem (YouTube, 15 seconds)

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

New Assistant Deans Named in Medical Education

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In recognition of their track record of distinction and accomplishment, three Feinberg faculty members have been promoted to leadership positions in medical education; effective immediately, Khalilah Gates, MD, ’10 GME (left), Ike Okwuosa, MD, ’13 GME (center) and Linda Suleiman, MD, ’17 GME (right), have been named assistant deans of medical education.

Read more »

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion would like to recognize fourth-year medical student, Andrea Rustad, for her initiative and drive to help organize Diversity & Inclusion Week at Feinberg. Andrea collaborated with members of the Feinberg community and the greater Chicagoland community to bring together a week-long program of sessions focused on diversity, inclusion and representation in health and wellness. Andrea was the ideal collaborator and partner in this initiative as she was willing to roll up her sleeves and engage in many tasks necessary to ensure all sessions ran smoothly from beginning to end.


Events & Resources


Book Discussion | The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Moore, WBEZ reporter

Friday, January 8, 2021 from noon to 1:00 p.m. CST

In this intelligent and highly important narrative, Chicago-native Natalie Moore shines a light on contemporary segregation in the city's South Side. With a memoirist's eye, she showcases the lives of these communities through the stories of people who reside there. The South Side shows the impact of Chicago's historic segregation and the ongoing policies that keep the system intact. This event is sponsored by the Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center, the Department of Surgery, the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities, the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling, the Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

For more information, please reach out to caryn.etkin@northwestern.edu.

Register here »

Northwestern University Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Training Program

The T37 Northwestern University Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Training Program (NU-MHRT), directed by Melissa A. Simon, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation, provides health disparities research training experiences to minority and other underrepresented students and trainees at the undergraduate through postdoctoral levels in order to prepare and enhance the next generation of scientists committed to research for improving minority health and reducing health disparities.

Visit the NU-MHRT website to learn more about program eligibility, duration, anticipated deliverables, monthly stipends, exclusions and application requirements for each of these trainee levels.

Please contact Samantha.alonis@northwestern.edu with any questions.


Check out our Twitter account and follow us @FeinbergODI!

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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.