Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
UCSF United Against Racism
How COVID-19 Has Exposed Health Disparities
Building the Most Equitable, Inclusive Medical School Nationally
At UCSF’s School of Medicine, diversity is a critical component of institutional success and has been a driving value of the institution for decades.
From the launch of our outreach and pipeline programs more than 20 years ago to the establishment of the Differences Matter initiative in 2015, we strive to create equitable and inclusive environments because we believe they are essential to high-quality patient care, effective learning, and cutting-edge discovery. The events of 2020 has reminded us again of this urgency and encouraged us to rethink our diversity, equity and inclusion focus, which is shaped by the belief that physicians need to be prepared to do the following:
- Provide safe, equitable, high-quality, and respectful care to an increasingly diverse population of people, in a manner aligned with the elicited goals of those individuals and their families
- Apply existing and discover new knowledge to solve the complex problems that cause suffering and rob people of their opportunity to live long and productive lives
- Lead and support interprofessional teams, comprised of diverse individuals with multiple points of view
- Dismantle the structural oppression that exists within medicine and health care
Our School of Medicine has three main goals to address both structural racism and interpersonal biases that contribute to inequities in healthcare for patients and education for students. Learn more about the collaborative programs and initiatives associated with each goal below or review our leadership messages on anti-racism.
Goal 1: Create a model anti-oppressive curriculum that incorporates anti-oppressive content across all disciplines and experiences
Expanded Anti-Oppressive Curriculum
UCSF School of Medicine launched a new initiative in 2020 to expand existing curriculum to address issues of structural racism in science and health care. The initiative takes an explicitly anti-racist approach, which advocates for interventions against racism instead of merely being not racist.
Social Justice Pillar in the Bridges Curriculum:
- Health & The Individual – Foundations 1
- Health & Society – Foundations 1
- Differences Matter Orientation
Updated MD Competency Milestones
The school revised its competency milestones in 2017 to require all students to graduate with an understanding and sensitivity to race/ethnicity and social justice.
Focus on Equity in Assessment
- The School of Medicine eliminated honors grades in core clerkships in 2019 to improve equity and wellbeing. The way medical students are traditionally assessed in clerkships discourages learning, increases stress, and offers little useful feedback, and is particularly problematic for students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Elimination of Grades in Core Clerkships
- Because the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society (AOA) has demonstrated bias against non-white students in selection, the UCSF School of Medicine suspended affiliation with AOA in 2020.
Learn why the school suspended its affiliation with AOA
- Faculty and students partnered together to create these assessment practices and strategies to avoid harmful bias in assessments.
Equity in Assessment and Checklist
Student Support Programs
Learn more about UCSF’s diversity, equity and inclusion student support programs for medical students.
Revised Student Policies
Guidelines at the School of Medicine ensure that UCSF provides an inclusive, equitable learning environment that protects equity in assessment and ensures institutional diversity:
Building a Pipeline of Diverse Students
The School of Medicine's Office of Post Baccalaureate and Outreach Programs directs outreach efforts for undergraduate and postgraduate individuals underrepresented in medicine, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and from rural communities, who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine.
Students Honored for Anti-Racism Work
The School of Medicine recognizes some of its most outstanding community members with Commendations for Exceptional Volunteerism and University Service, acknowledging contributions to the school’s anti-racism work.
GOAL 3: Diversify and train the faculty who teach and mentor students to teach with an anti-racism mindset
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training
This training for School of Medicine faculty and staff includes education on implicit biases and microaggressions, coaching in skills related to addressing these issues, and how to apply thoughtful, active listening.
Equity Justice in Education Program (EJE)
The Center for Faculty Educators hosts EJE meetings to empower educators, educational researchers, and learners to utilize rigorous educational research methodology to identify bias and unequal power distribution.
A multi-year, multi-faceted School of Medicine initiative designed to make UCSF the most diverse, equitable and inclusive academic medical system in the country.
Chairs and Directors Council on Diversity
Initiated in the Spring of 2014 and charged with developing, implementing and monitoring programs to increase the culture of diversity and inclusion in faculty within the School of Medicine.
Each year eight faculty members are selected to be Watson Scholars in honor of John A. Watson, PhD, a pioneer for diversity, an inspiring mentor, and a tenacious scientist whose service to the UCSF School of Medicine spanned forty-six years.
Office of Outreach and Diversity
The Office of Diversity and Outreach serves as the campus and health system leader in building diversity in all aspects of UCSF through ongoing assessment, development of new programs and building consensus. They collaborate with the four professional schools, the Graduate Division, and the medical centers, to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion across UCSF.