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Recruitment Director's Message

Northwestern Emergency Medicine has demonstrated a commitment to training the best in emergency medicine, and diversity, equity and inclusion are core to that mission”

Aaron Quarles, MD, MPP
Recruitment Director 
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine

At Northwestern EM, we train leaders. Our charge is to ensure that NUEM graduates are prepared to lead inclusive teams in the delivery of high-quality, equitable care to patients among diverse communities. That mission requires providing not only excellent clinical training in a variety of care settings, but also an intentional approach to professional development. Diversity, equity and inclusion are core to that mission. 

Racial and ethnic health disparities illuminated by the COVID19 pandemic have existed long before. Recent reinvigoration of national efforts around systemic racism after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others are symptoms of a chronic disease in our society. We are privileged to stand at the front door of the communities we serve, and that privilege demands awareness of the many social comorbidities cloaking our patients as they present to the safety net for society. 

Adequately addressing health disparities requires a healthcare workforce and leadership that embodies the diversity of our communities. At NUEM, we conduct holistic review of applications with a focus on equity.  There are no USMLE cutoffs. We strongly encourage applications from talented candidates who identify as women, URM, and LGBTQ+. 

We see black, white, non-English speaking, LGBTQ, rich, poor, disabled, religious and atheist patients every single day. Successfully caring for those patients, working in teams, reducing disparities, and improving the health of our communities demands an appreciation for the role diversity and inclusion will increasingly play throughout our careers.

Much like learning to manage the airway or to resuscitate a septic patient, diversity and inclusion serves as yet another skill available for us to master. Read any business journal and you will see that diverse teams come out on top in profitability, problem-solving and success. In medicine, there is no difference. Appreciating the differences which we all bring to Emergency Medicine will only enhance our specialty’s ability to care for our communities.

While at NUEM, you will also be exposed to world-class faculty in both the ED and off-service rotations. Opportunities to engage mentors of diverse racial, gender, and sexual orientations are presented throughout the department and larger McGaw and Feinberg communities. Those mentoring relationships often extend beyond Northwestern, reflecting the close ties we have with surrounding programs. 

Recognizing the unique needs and challenges of diverse trainees and faculty, we have developed mentoring events focused on Women in EM, and URM in EM. Feinberg maintains a faculty, student and trainee OutList and AllyList. We take pride in providing a diverse and inclusive environment wherein our residents safely care for patients and lead inclusive teams. Our department has developed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee made up of MDs, APPs, RNs and other staff to ensure we live up to that charge. 

The most meaningful experiences (and education) come from our patients. Communicating with the Spanish-speaking mother of a febrile infant; learning about the struggles of the disabled 25-year-old; sharing laughs with the 16 year-old who is shocked to find that a doctor listens to hip-hop; conveying my preferred pronouns to a transgender teen; praying with the Muslim family of a dying ICU patient -- NUEM has exposed me to an astonishingly diverse patient population over my career. 

With a catchment area of over 1 million people, you will care for patients from all over the Chicagoland area, and quite frankly the world. Between NMH, Lurie, Lake Forest, Stroger, and Methodist (Gary), we literally see it all.

NUEM has demonstrated a commitment to training the best in emergency medicine,  and diversity, equity and inclusion are core to that mission. Come join us and see for yourself.

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