Medical and nursing schools aim to boost diversity

Medical and nursing schools aim to boost diversity

Yale’s professional schools continued to train faculty and staff in medical fields in a range of diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts.

Chloe Nield

11:16 p.m., October 23, 2022

Collaborating journalist

Hedy Tung, staff photographer

At Yale School of Medicine, diversity, equity, and inclusion training is a requirement for faculty and staff in all departments.

Each department of the School of Medicine has a Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Along the same lines, the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Yale School of Nursing also offers DEI training for faculty and staff.

Paris Lawrence, associate director of DEI training and development in the School of Medicine’s DEI office, has delivered the most recent training on inclusive faculty research and has conducted trainings across the School of Medicine.

According to Sangini Sheth, DEI director for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Lawrence is expected to give similar training to the department’s residency selection committee next week.

Sheth explained that Darin Latimore, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion and director of diversity at the School of Medicine, conducted similar training for the committee last year. This training was just one of many trainings that took place last fall in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, which included training focused on implicit bias, microaggression, and the training of witnesses. The professors of the department hired after this training must follow an interactive online course covering the same subjects.

“I believe the [trainings offered last fall] help establish shared language, definitions and awareness and help normalize honest behaviors that aim to identify potential biases and intervene in acts of micro-aggression,” Sheth wrote to the News. “These are the first steps in creating an equitable and inclusive environment and communicating to the department that such an environment is a priority.”

This most recent training on inclusive hiring practices was chosen because it aligns with the School of Medicine’s goals of increasing diversity. Sheth explained that this training is an important step in “breaking down the structural factors that have traditionally disadvantaged and underrepresented women among medical applicants in health care and many other sectors.”

The School of Medicine’s Yale Child Study Center held a DEI training on September 28, which was attended by 50 people. Linda Mayes, director of the Yale Child Study Center, was one of the participants.

“Our work at the Center on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging and Restorative Practices is a high priority for our community,” Mayes wrote to the News. “We want to create a culture that respects everyone’s talents and where everyone feels they have a voice in the direction of the Centre. Growing and maintaining a diverse community is essential to the continued vibrancy of our research and clinical programs.

Also in attendance was Carolina Rivera Parrott, director of the social work education program at the Yale Child Study Center. Parrott told the News that she found the training effective and applicable to “advancing [the Yale Child Study Center’s] admissions and recruitment efforts.

Going forward, Parrott hopes the training will be offered more frequently, as it “helped provide useful tools and information to consider when we begin our recruiting efforts.”

Angela Richard-Eaglin, associate dean for equity at the School of Nursing, explained that the school has held several trainings over the past year “in which participants learned essential frameworks and tools to understand how prejudice, power, privilege and oppression inform their ally.” The School of Nursing also offers workshops on cultural intelligence.

“[The Cultural Intelligence workshops] define and describe the importance of embracing differences, the impact of biases on outcomes, understanding how microaggressions affect individuals, work and classroom environments, and [learning] strategies for responding and intervening with microaggressions,” Richard-Eaglin said in a statement to The News.

Paula Kavathas, vice chair of DEI in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and vice chair of diversity in the School of Medicine’s Department of Immunology, said that within the Department of Immunology there is a group of work on the DEI formed by interns in 2017. This group has a wellness subcommittee, a transition committee that helps new graduate students, holds a monthly journal club on the subject, and “has had an impact major on the department,” Kavathas said.

Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Child Study Center, Tara Davila, explained that the goals of these DEI trainings go beyond the Yale community and extend to those who receive services of the School of Medicine. Specifically, Davila said the Department of DEI at the Yale Child Study Center aims to “center the experience of those who come to receive our services.”

“[The Yale School of Medicine] wants anyone in the world to see themselves at Yale… [that] everyone feels like there’s a place for him here, and when he comes [they know that] they are going to be supported and their ideas are welcome,” Davila said. “We also see it in terms of the New Haven community, that [the Yale School of Medicine] it is to see them and provide them with the most culturally humble care possible.

In addition to the trainings, the Yale Child Study Center also offers monthly reflective conversations on DEI or social justice topics that their teachers can participate in. Davila said if the Yale Child Study Center is “truly working toward transformational change, it has to be a practice, it has to be the way we operate, not just one training per year.

Latimore was named the first associate dean for diversity and inclusion and director of diversity at the School of Medicine in 2016.

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