We are committed to fostering a culture where every member of our residency feels a sense of inclusion and belonging. We openly acknowledge the role of structural forces of oppression as primary drivers of the disparate health outcomes. We believe that working to reverse the underrepresentation of historically excluded groups is critical in achieving equitable health outcomes. While this is an ongoing journey for our program, here are some of the tangible steps we have taken to achieve an inclusive culture:

Recruitment of a Diverse Resident Body – Eliminating Bias in our Interview Process

Each year, we implement intentional changes to our application review and interview process to achieve a more just recruitment process that is consistent with the values of our program. Our current process accounts for the impact of structural barriers on an applicant’s likelihood of becoming a physician and credits those applicants who have overcome significant societal, personal, or familial barriers. As a result of these changes, we have seen a statistically significant increase in the number of residents who are underrepresented in medicine (UIM) within our program over several years.

Underrepresented in Medicine (UIM) Resident Mentorship Program

We are committed to making sure that UIM residents have the support they need to thrive at Penn. In addition to an advisor, which all residents receive, each UIM resident in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health is assigned a faculty mentor for support in navigating the unique experience of medical training as part of a historically excluded group. This program builds community among the UIM residents and faculty in the program and creates a space where challenging experiences such as microaggressions or witnessing implicit bias in the culture of medicine can be processed and addressed.

In addition, mentors provide guidance to bridge the gaps in institutional knowledge that commonly exist for UIM residents as the result of being less likely to have family members who are physicians. Due to the dearth of UIM role models in medicine, mentors provide the support UIM mentees need to recognize their potential to become leaders in the field of Family Medicine.

Anti-Racism Task Force in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

The Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) was founded in 2019, by a handful of faculty and residents, with the goal of furthering our mission to become an anti-racist, multicultural organization. Since inception, the task force has grown in both size and impact with membership that includes residents, faculty, clinical staff, researchers, and administrators. The ARTF works to tackle issues in 5 key domains that include community engagement, education, employee empowerment, patient care, and research. Below are a few examples of how residents have contributed to the ARTF:

  • leading department-wide workshops on topics like White privilege, microaggressions in the workplace, and the Model Minority Myth
  • conducting systematic reviews of the evidence base for race-based patient care guidelines leading to the elimination of hospital-wide race-based guidelines
  • organizing voter registration in the clinic
  • representing the department in city-wide protests for social and racial justice causes
  • reviewing residency curriculum to strengthen the focus on anti-racism and equity within the formal curriculum

Underrepresented in Medicine (UIM) Visiting Medical Student Elective

This course was created to provide clinical experiences and mentorship to students who are part of an underrepresented group. The course aims to increase interest in the field of Family Medicine, and to provide students with the skills, training, and mentorship necessary to feel confident as they enter residency.

Clinical aspects of the rotation include full spectrum Family Medicine, including outpatient care, obstetrics/maternal-child health, community medicine, and inpatient Family Medicine. Scholarships are provided, to offset the cost of travel and accommodations for visiting students. Participating students are paired with a resident and faculty mentor for the duration of the rotation and are provided dedicated time for mentorship and career development. Students can contact the course coordinator Ms. Mzisa Pontrelli at mzisadari.pontrelli@pennmedicine.upenn.edu for more information.

Alliance of Minority Physicians at Penn/CHOP

The Alliance of Minority Physicians (AMP) is a network of physicians across the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), in which residents and faculty actively participate. The mission of the Alliance of Minority Physicians (AMP) is to develop leaders in clinical, academic, and community medicine through active recruitment, career development, mentorship, social engagement, and community outreach geared towards underrepresented faculty, residents, and medical students.

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