From the Archive: Tools for Achieving Institutional Excellence: Diversity 3.0 Learning Series

diversity circleEditor’s Note: As part of a new series, we’re sharing content from our archive that we think may be of interest to our readers. This post was originally published on August 22, 2013.

By: Marc Nivet, EdD, Chief Diversity Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges

This is an exciting time for health care in the United States. The passage of the Affordable Care Act means our medical schools and teaching hospitals will be facing a critical period to reexamine best practices to meet the growing health needs of the nation. We at the AAMC are committed to helping our member institutions meet this critical period head on and facilitate innovation. Building the capacity for innovation relies on engaging people with different perspectives, skills, and experiences to strategize and solve problems.

In my commentary from 2011, “Diversity 3.0: A Necessary Systems Upgrade,” I discussed how diversity and inclusion play a crucial role in this innovative process and how we ought to think of these terms more broadly: diversity as the richness of human differences, and inclusion as the active and ongoing engagement with diversity. The case for diversity and inclusion is stronger than ever. The list of recognized “diversity identities” is growing and demographic shifts in the population yield a more compositionally diverse population with every passing decade. Opportunities for optimizing care and improving quality are important now more than ever to address the persisting health disparities of our nation.

The time is ripe for us to build on the past to reposition medical schools and teaching hospitals for the future. The Diversity 3.0 paradigm consists of a shift from increasing awareness of how diversity benefits everyone – with diversity and excellence existing at parallel ends – to a growing understanding of diversity’s broader relevance to the core workings of the institution and integral to achieving excellence.

In March 2013, we launched The Diversity 3.0 Learning Series, a set of online resources to help medical schools and teaching hospitals leverage diversity and inclusion to drive institutional excellence. With this series we offer insights from thought leaders and practitioners in the field on a variety of diversity and inclusion topics. The goal of this learning series is to provide our members an easily accessible resource to help guide them on the path to greater innovation. New resources are periodically added to the collection. (See below a for a complete list of the Learning Series resources that are already available, and those that are upcoming.) It is our hope that the learning series will become an important tool in our members’ innovation utility boxes.

Learning Series videos already available:

Upcoming Learning Series videos:

  • Getting Started in Academia
  • Defining Your Success in Academia
  • Preparing a Career Development Plan: The Essentials
  • Unconscious Bias in Medical Professionals
  • The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers

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One Comment

  1. Kemi Tomobi
    August 23, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    I definitely value any suggestions by AAMC’s Marc Nivet, because I know he has the educational background to really add to the discussions on educational reform, including medical education reform.  I also appreciate these informative and enlightening videos provided.  I now see the issue of “bias” a little differently, and hope that academic leaders may be more open to diversity and inclusion efforts when seeing bias through different lens.

    Despite the findings from US News and World Report Rankings, we have to consider the quality of care provided by our communities, and institutions efforts towards inclusion.  An institution that celebrates and values differences is one that takes steps towards innovation, something that will be necessary if the arena of academic medicine is to survive.  We have to value those who think and act differently, and yet have the same professional goals.  Sometimes the bias exhibited may prevent academic leaders and physicians in training to really value what unique characteristics a person who is “different” may bring to the community.  We have to strive to not isolate people who may be different when they have the same goals.  We should strive to keep the lines of communications open, so that trust in the academic communities will increase.  This communication is the same principle underlying patient care, where patients must earn our trust.  As a matter of fact, it is the same principle that recognizes us all as humans and allows us to celebrate humanism in medicine.  For example, Ms. Antoinette Tuff in Atlanta used humanism to relate to someone who really needed to keep lines of communication open and thus, saved lives in the process.  Ms. Tuff is not an academic leader or physician, but she has a unique background that allowed her the courage to relate to someone who really needed to belong and feel like he had something to live for.  In the process, she made herself more human to the young man who almost shot at a school.  Do we have any of these heroes in academic medicine?  I hope so. 

    We must strive towards inclusive policies and actions, not things that exclude someone who may act differently, or have a different cultural background, if we really want to positively impact healthcare and the domain of academic medicine.

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