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New diversity, equity and inclusion med school track launched at Georgetown

Students can already pick a ‘health justice’ track

Georgetown University will add a new track to its seven current options for medical students.

The School of Medicine’s “Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion” track joins Health Justice Scholar Track, Healthcare Leadership Track, Literature and Medicine Track, Medical Education Research Scholar Track, Population Health Scholar Track, Primary Care Leadership Track and Environmental Health and Medicine Track as concentrations for aspiring medical professionals.

Professors and co-directors Ann Jay and Tamara Wilson have not responded to two emailed requests for comment on the curriculum sent in the past month by The College Fix.

Completion of the track, which involves modules, field work and group projects, will prepare students to “[s]erve as a champion of DEI in future experiences” and work to “dismantle systems of power designed to benefit certain groups.”

The med students will learn that dismantling these power structures that “harm others” is not a fleeting project but instead a “lifelong commitment” that “is imperative to improving the health outcomes of patients.”

Students will learn about “complex perspectives relating to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and life experiences” and how it affects health outcomes.

It should not be confused with the Health Justice track which teaches students how to “[d]emonstrate an understanding of the psychological, socioeconomic, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of human health and illness.”

The future cardiologists, oncologists and otolaryngologists will not just help sick people recover and diagnose potential future health problems. They will graduate with an understanding of “the role of discrimination, bias, microaggressions, and racism in the ability to deliver equitable care.”

Their education on how the lungs work, prenatal development and recognizing the signs of a stroke will be supplemented with the ability to “use increased competency in anti-racism, cultural humility, social justice, racial equity, allyship, disabusing disability, gender/sexuality issues, and LGBTQ+ promotion and acceptance.”

One of the first in the nation

Georgetown University’s School of Medicine’s new program is one of the first in the United States. As there are no other programs similar to the DEI track learning the right approach will take time, the university said.

“Part of the issue is that there aren’t really any similar programs at other medical institutions,” Professor Colin Stewart told The Hoya. “When Dr. Wilson was doing her research on these kinds of programs, she wasn’t really able to find a model program, so it’s not like the curriculum she developed was adapted from blank other school’s programs,” Stewart told the campus paper.

“We will look at students that are traditionally underrepresented in medicine,” Professor Jay told the campus newspaper. These students should have “lived experiences” which will “help them fulfill the goals of the track.”

They should also have experience and passion “about making a difference in the DEI space.”

“People are looking for leaders who are able to really enact anti-racist policies,” Professor Stewart said. Future medical leaders are wanted to “bring about equity within the workplace and vigorously close the gaps in terms of health care inequities.”

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IMAGE: Georgetown University School of Medicine

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About the Author
Hannah Lalgie -- University of Florida