Diversity Working Groups

Schulich Medicine & Dentistry has established a Diversity Working Group. We sat down with Drs. Davy Cheng and Jay Rosenfield the co-chairs, to learn more about the Working Group.

Why was the Diversity Working Group created?

The Working Group has been formed for a number of reasons. Essentially, however, it comes down to the fact that we believe as a School, there is work to be done to enrich our environment and culture in the areas of equality, diversity, inclusivity and social accountability. And engaging faculty, staff and learners from programs across the School is one of the first important steps we must take in order to achieve success.

As most people know, during the 2015 accreditation of the Doctor of Medicine Program, the diversity standard was indicated as non-compliant. The Program made some important changes, and in 2016 the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools in collaboration with the Liaison Committee for Medical Education reported that the standard had moved from non-compliant to compliant with monitoring.

A diversity group in undergraduate medical education (UME) had completed some excellent background work, including the development of diversity and social accountability statements, however it became clear that a broader school-wide approach was needed to effect implementation of these statements. The Working Group will help to guide these efforts.

Who is on the Diversity Working Group?

We are working to engage representatives from across the School. Right now, there is a spectrum of individuals representing various diverse groups including faculty, staff and learners who are serving as Group members.

At present, these include decanal and committee leaders of Admission, UME, accreditation, Postgraduate Medical Education, Learner Equity & Wellness, Indigenous liaison, Equity and Wellness, Basic Science Departments. Some administrative staff members also serve as members. We have only just started with our meetings, so the composition of the Working Group will continue to evolve.

What are the goals of the Working Group?

Our work is just getting started. We believe it is important to educate ourselves and gather as much information as possible about ongoing initiatives related to equity, diversity, inclusivity and social accountability that are taking place across the School.

As we continue with the education process, we will develop terms of reference for the Working Group, as well as some some very specific goals, which will be aligned with our School’s strategic plan, and the University’s strategic plan, and the UME diversity and social accountability accreditation standards.

We are committed to the School’s value of diversity, and ultimately we want to improve and enhance the culture across Schulich Medicine & Dentistry.

How often is the Working Group meeting?

We will meet monthly. Each meeting will have an educational component, and a strategic discussions to advance our work.

How do you plan to inform the rest of the School of your work?

We will provide updates through many of the School’s communication vehicles and we will be developing a formal website. Moving forward, everyone can expect to hear about the Working Group, it’s work and initiatives much more often.