Division of Dermatology

Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competence

In May 2020, video footage capturing the cruelty of George Floyd’s murder spurred a nation-wide uprising, as his name became synonymous with a cry for racial justice. Coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, this horrific yet not uncommon killing of a Black man by a police officer re-focused global attention to racism—one of the greatest public health emergencies facing us today. As a division that serves patients in the Bronx, which is among the most ethnically diverse areas in the nation and birthplace of urban Black culture, we believe it is our duty to stand alongside our community as advocates for social change and health equality.

To this end, in June 2020, faculty-members, Dr. Beth McLellan, Dr. Caroline Halverstam, and Dr. Ramone Williams, as well as second-year residents, Dr. Rithu Srikantha and Dr. Lavanya Mittal established the Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competence. In line with the mission statement of our division, the visions of the committee are three-fold:

  1. to promote diversity in the recruitment of our members,
  2. to foster inclusiveness that embraces differing perspectives,
  3. and to formalize a curriculum that enables faculty and residents to develop the knowledge, practices, attitudes, and values that are essential to working effectively with individuals from different cultural backgrounds.

Our current efforts are aimed towards additions to the didactic curriculum, research and community outreach projects, as well as ultimately creating greater support systems for minority students, residents, and faculty. At this time, we have implemented an orientation lecture discussing the history of the Bronx and its immigrant communities, a division-wide grand rounds focused on racial inequalities in healthcare, and journal clubs on diversity in medicine. We are also planning sessions related to implicit bias training and discussions of microaggressions as well as structural and systemic racism. We are organizing upcoming informational sessions about careers in medicine and dermatology for underrepresented medical students at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and local high school students. In addition, we are partnering with other members of our division to develop research studies that measure the effects of these curricular changes, and to examine other important questions related to skin of color and health disparities within dermatology.

In the near future, we also hope to invite individuals from highly represented immigrant communities in our patient population—such as Albanian, Bengali, and Dominican—to teach our faculty and residents about healthcare beliefs and practices that are unique to their cultures.

It is our hope that these evolving efforts enable our division to embrace the richness of our community’s cultural, linguistic, socio-economic, and racial diversity while providing compassionate care that honors and respects these differences both in our patients and amongst our current and future members.

 

About the Division

Division of Dermatology Overview 

 

Contact the Division

Madeline Solis

Divisional Administrator

Dermatology and Allergy

Phone: (718) 920-8154

 

Karen Grant, MS
Residency Program Administrator
3411 Wayne Ave,
2nd Floor,
Bronx, NY, 10467
Phone: (718) 920-2680 

 
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