Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Our program feels strongly that diversity is critical to creating an environment of truly collaborative learning and teamwork. We have a broad view of diversity which includes: race/ethnicity, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities, socioeconomic status, religion, first gen, and other life experiences. In today’s society, cultural competence is a necessity for physicians to deliver the best possible care for patients, and we believe that this principle begins with diversity within our residency. We aim to expose our housestaff to a variety of clinical environments during their training, with the goal of preparing our trainees to be among the most culturally competent doctors in the nation. The Bay Area is home to one of the most diverse populations in California and thus the patient population we serve reflects this diversity. We recognize that diversity is a continuous cultural ambition, and welcome everyone to participate. Mentorship and speaking opportunities exist with our medical school medical minority associations, tutoring programs, and admissions council. We encourage our residents to become involved in these projects.
Stanford has a long history in impacting the diversity of the healthcare workforce through the efforts of the Center of Excellence (COE) in Diversity in Medical Education and the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity. The COE is committed to increasing the diversity of physician leaders pursuing careers in clinical practice, research, medical education, advocacy and health policy. They partner with our residency to foster such initiatives with an aim to eliminate the nation’s health inequities. Moreover, we are committed to providing support for residents seeking mentorship for projects related to research in healthcare disparities. The Office of Faculty Development and Diversity develops various programs and sponsors events to foster a generation that can continue to reflect excellence through diversity in medicine and science.
Our Community of Patients
We aim to expose our housestaff to a variety of clinical environments during their training, with the goal of preparing our trainees to be among the most culturally competent doctors in the nation. The Bay Area is home to one of the most diverse communities in the country, with large populations from Latin America, South/Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific Islands. As a tertiary care center, Stanford serves large local underserved populations throughout Northern California. For example, the Bay Area is home to the largest group of Tongans outside of Tonga, particularly in East Palo Alto. Similarly, San Jose has the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. In fact, Santa Clara County is among the most ethnically diverse in the country, with 44% of census respondents identifying as people of color and over 150 languages spoken. More
The program leadership believes that academic medicine has a key role to play in addressing health disparities and providing care for the underserved, and has created a number of clinical opportunities to this end. Each of our three continuity clinic sites involves our trainees in the treatment of vulnerable populations, and one of the sites (Fair Oaks Health Center) serves as the safety net county clinic for San Mateo County. Our residents also rotate through the inpatient wards at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, the county hospital for Santa Clara County, which almost exclusively serves the underserved in the regions of San Jose and surrounding cities, one of the largest hospital county systems in California.
Housestaff can also request elective outpatient rotations in HIV medicine, TB clinic, and social medicine at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. In addition, the Palo Alto VA serves a large homeless population with a dedicated resident rotation in Homeless Outreach clinic, which brings care via mobile centers to rural Californian towns. Every member of our housestaff also volunteers at the resident/medical student-run free clinics in addition to their work in our three teaching hospitals. Looking internationally, our residents have the unique chance to spend a 6-week rotation overseas as part of the Stanford/Yale Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholars program, and over two-thirds of our trainees are granted a fully-funded opportunity to travel to Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, or South Asia to care for the global poor.
The Medicine Diversity Committee is a group of Internal Medicine residents and medicine sub specialty fellows committed to diversity. This group focuses on issues specifically related to patients cared for by Internal Medicine providers and the various subspecialties as well as fostering an inclusive learning environment.
Women in Internal Medicine Residency Group
Our Women in Internal Medicine Residency Group offers a safe and supportive environment to disucss issues related to gender in medical training, as well as dedicated mentorship and practical workshops for career development (in areas such as negotiation and conflict resolution). A number of residents from this group are leaders in WIM, the GME Women in Medicine Leadership Council. This group hosts a number of events throughout the year.
LGBT Working Group
This working group is comprised of residents interested in the health of LGBTQ populations cared for by internists. The primary focus of this group is to expand educational opportunities throughout residency, including presentations and elective rotations.
Working Group Lectures:
Introduction to LGB Health
Transgender Health and Gender Affirming Surgery
Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy
Homelessness in the Bay Area LGBTQ Community
Disparities are not just my passion but my lived experience. Growing up in NYC in a low-income immigrant family, I was well versed in disparities. My parents both struggled making ends meet. Many times my parents, despite various medical ailments, avoided getting the help they needed because of their inability to pay for care. I distinctly remember a time in medical school when my mother called me disoriented with slurred speech. Although I tried to convince her to go to the hospital, the one thing she repeated over again and again was "I can't go to the hospital, I don't have insurance". The sense of helplessness and frustration I've felt during that moment and countless others has been my motivation and driving force for entering the medical field. More
I attended Cornell University for undergraduate school and majored in human biology, health and society and minored in inequality studies. Finally able to realize my dream, I was accepted to and attended Harvard Medical School. I always believed that once I became a doctor, I'd have the power to ameliorate the health disparities my family and I experienced. I quickly realized that there were many systemic issues that I wouldn't be able to address as a physician alone, so I took a year off between my 3rd and 4th year to attend UC Berkeley for a MPH in health policy and management to try and understand the system in order to play a role in the future to change it.
I decided to attend Stanford because of the diversity of patients and hospital settings. I also believed Stanford would support my dreams of working towards mitigating health disparities, not just through words but actions. As a second year internal medicine resident at Stanford, I'm happy to say that this has indeed been the case. When I came up with the idea of creating a residency tract geared towards training internal medicine resident leaders in healthcare disparities there was unanimous support in the department.
This program called the Stanford Internal Medicine Program for Health Equity, Advocacy and Research (Stanford IM HEARs) provides unique training and tools for residents to help address healthcare disparities through: exposure to clinical rotations focused on working with underserved populations locally, mentorship, scholarship/ research and leadership training. The mission of the program is to address the large need for leaders that will champion initiative and advocate for the health of underserved populations within the United States. Currently in its pilot stage, this program will officially be open for IM resident applications starting January 2021. Although there is a long way to go before any dent is made in eliminating healthcare disparities, I'm truly grateful to the Stanford IM department for supporting my dreams and joining me in trying to make sustainable change in the lives of not just our patients but my family and loved ones as well.