Editorial Board Q & A: David A. Acosta

Acosta2_UCRegents2David A. Acosta, MD, associate vice chancellor of diversity and inclusion, Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, University of California, Davis Health System

1. Describe your current activities.

Presently, I am doing a lot of work around implicit biases, assumptions, and stereotypes, and how they impact the learning and workplace environments (including team science and the screening/selection process for hiring).

2. What gaps do you see in today’s scholarship?

The educators involved in developing programs, activities, curriculum, and training in diversity and inclusion are not writing and publishing enough and sharing their outstanding work—especially along the lines of emphasizing measured outcomes. I’m also not seeing enough research regarding the impact of workforce diversity. Does it yield the outcomes that we expect it to yield?

3. Why do you read Academic Medicine?

Mostly to keep up to date with my colleagues from other academic medical institutions. It is also informative to the work that I do at the medical school and health system, and provides some innovative solutions to some of the common challenges that I face.

4. What issues will we be reading about in five years?

My dream titles for future Academic Medicine articles would be:

  • “The Success of Accelerated Medical Education Pathway Models: Meeting the Demands of Society Sooner Than Expected”
  • “Demonstrated Benefits of Our Efforts to Transform Medical Education Post-Flexner: We’re Finally Doing It Right!”
  • “Releasing the Embargo on GME Slots: Meeting the Demands of Society with the Successful Expansion of Available Residency Positions”
  • “Accountable Care Organizations: The New Training Ground for Medical Students and Residents”

5. What book(s) are you reading right now?

I must confess that I am an avid reader, and have a habit of reading more than one book at a time. Over the last several years I have had a strong interest in reading about leadership and diversity. I just finished “Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni. I am now reading “Flex: The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences.”

I usually balance my reading with something on the lighter and fun side. I’m in the middle of reading “The Prisoner of Heaven” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon—a new author for me—whose writing I can easily get lost in. This is the 4th book in the series that I have read!

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