Department of Pediatrics Annual Report – 2020

Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to reflecting the diverse populations we diagnose, study, treat, and heal

Unless we can have difficult conversations about our own blind spots, unless we take the time to acknowledge that there are disparities and ways that we can do things better, we're not going to be able to address health inequities. We pride ourselves that we've made these conversations possible through the PDIC.

Linda Aponte-Patel

For almost a decade the Department of Pediatrics has worked to push the boundaries of inclusion, representation, and equality among our faculty, staff, and training programs and to reflect the diverse populations we diagnose, study, treat, and heal.

Members of the PDIC pose for photo during their 2020 Symposium

Furthering Our Mission

The Pediatric Diversity and Inclusion Council (PDIC), founded in 2013 to provide a supportive environment for underrepresented-in-medicine residents, has undergone tremendous growth over the past seven years, broadening the department’s focus to initiatives such as recruiting a diverse house staff and providing structured diversity and inclusion programming as core elements of our residency experience.

The PDIC is open to all health care team members in the department. Our activities include annual welcoming social events for members, bimonthly meetings with resident members, quarterly meetings with faculty members, and matching diversity faculty mentors with resident members. In 2020, the council expanded further with the appointment of fellow and faculty liaisons and members developed additional programming for fellows, faculty, and administration.

As part of its growth the council has:

  • Developed resident-led workshops for the core residency morning educational conferences
  • Held programs on difficult conversations about race in America, implicit bias, and microaggressions
  • Created a diversity and inclusion grand rounds series and an annual celebration of diversity symposium
  • Partnered with the Office of Medical Education, Diversity, and Inclusion to deliver and implement faculty implicit bias training and anti-racism workshops

Our long-term objective is to expand our efforts to a national level and for our program to be recognized as a hub for diversity in training, research, and patient care. To that end we presented our work at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in 2018.

Our work and accomplishments underscore the department’s considerable commitment to training pediatricians who provide patient-centered and culturally competent care to our diverse patient population. Among our future goals: fostering our relationship with local community programs, strengthening our presence within our department as well as in our institution, and creating opportunities for residents to participate in diversity and inclusion-related research initiatives.

Diversity Day Symposium

Our annual Celebration of Diversity Symposium, launched in 2017, is a daylong event featuring a keynote speaker, presentations that highlight community health programs, peer-to-peer workshops led by pediatric residents, and a town hall with invited guests. In 2020, we welcomed activist, educator, writer, and leader at the intersection of culture and justice Brittany Packnett Cunningham, whose talk, "A call to action for pediatricians and health care providers: How to best advocate for the health and wellness of our youth," energized attendees.

Learn More About Our Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

illustration showing doctor lighting path with flashlight

Other Diversity and Inclusion Highlights

Stephanie Lovinsky Desir, MD, featured in Columbia Medicine regarding diversity:

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