What We Do

Community Outreach Initiatives

Lang Scholars 

The Lang Youth Medical Program was established in 2003 with the support of philanthropist Eugene M. Lang. It is a six-year, science enrichment, medical pipeline program for talented youth who represent the diversity of the Washington Heights and Inwood communities. The program fosters an environment where Scholars can develop social and academic skills while participating in a challenging, hands-on science curriculum and working alongside professionals in the hospital. The residents at Columbia, as well as individuals of the diversity and inclusion council, have become involved in the initiatives through the Doctors in Training program. Lang Youth Doctors in Training is a subset of the Lang Youth program created by residents as a community pediatrics project. It includes monthly simulations on a variety of medical topics (asthma, diabetes, seizures) and hospital tour and a medical professionals panel.

Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) 

Summer pre-medical program that exposes minority students to a mini medical school curriculum including classes and clinical shadowing experiences. Our pediatric residents participate by allowing these students to shadow them in the hospital and at clinics.

FLIP Mentoring Program

This program, created by 2018 PDIC co-president, Dr. Jenny Ruiz, matches MSCH residents with pre-health students who are a part of the First Generation/Low Income Partnership (FLIP) at Columbia University. The goal of the program is to provide underrepresented college students with guidance and mentorship on career paths, applying to medical school, as well as shadowing opportunities.

EL Nido

El Nido is a faith-based program in Washington Heights/Inwood designed to support parents with 0-3 year old children living in poverty. The Diversity and Inclusion Council has partnered with El Nido as part of our efforts to engage the Washington Heights community and identify opportunities for residents to learn more about the social, economic, and environmental inequalities and injustices that affect our patients. Through service learning experiences pediatric residents lead interactive round table discussions with new fathers to address pertinent issues such as of health literacy, obesity, and normal pediatric development to foster healthy parent/child interactions.

LGBTQ/Lambda Community Initiatives

The Diversity and Inclusion Council supports the LGBTQ community and its allies. Over the years, the council has expanded its efforts to recruit and support incoming LGBTQ residents and faculty members in the department. The council holds an annual LGBTQ Grand Rounds lecture and has developed an LGBTQ curriculum for residents. Additionally the members of the Council have played an integral role in the creation of PRIDE in Medicine, a campus wide group for LGBTQ faculty, housestaff, and students.

The Anti-Racist Children’s Book Drive

The Anti-Racist Children’s Book Drive is a resident-created initiative with the goals of distributing books to patients and families that celebrate diverse characters and settings as well as fostering discussions about racial identity and racism. We have created a list of suggested books for a wide range of ages and circulated this list among friends, family, and our NYP-Columbia community. To date, we have received hundreds of book donations as well as several generous monetary contributions. Our list emphasizes supporting Black authors and other authors of color as well as sourcing titles from Black-owned bookstores in NYC and across the US. This project aims to help pediatric providers use these books as a springboard to engage patients and their families in difficult but important conversations about race in an age and developmentally appropriate manner. We also have been working with Reach Out and Read and have connected residents to their training events about talking to families about race in clinical settings. We are excited to continue to grow this project and sustain these conversations for years to come!

Departmental Initiatives

Resident Core Educational Curriculum

The Pediatric Diversity and Inclusion Council has developed a comprehensive educational curriculum in the form of morning and afternoon conferences that focus on the core principles of inclusion and cultural competency. These conferences provide an open forum for residents of all backgrounds to discuss important topics including microagressions, LGBTQ issues, gender bias, health disparities, and approaches to cultural and religious beliefs. The longitudinal curriculum allows residents to share their unique challenges and experiences both inside and outside of the hospital, and how these affect their training and patient care. By bringing these issues to the forefront, learners are able to develop strategies that can be applied to situations with other residents, medical students, and patients. At the same time, residents cultivate an environment of mutual respect that makes for better relationships among team members and a better understanding of the diverse needs of the children we care for.

Diversity Symposium

An annual event that celebrates diversity and inclusion in our program. The Celebration of Diversity Symposium is a day-long event that features a keynote speaker, presentations that highlight community health programs, resident-led workshops, and a town hall with faculty and invited guests.

The Future

Our overarching 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. Our work and accomplishments underscore our department’s considerable commitment to training pediatricians who provide patient-centered and culturally competent care to our diverse patient population. Future goals are aimed at 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.