Diversity-Related Initiatives with GME

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Here at Iowa, we are taking a focused effort to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment in health care. We recognize the need for a proactive and continuous approach to addressing our commitment to this very important issue. Below are a few key initiatives currently underway to promote the institutional climate and culture surrounding diversity.

1. House Staff Diversity Collaborative

The Office of GME established the House Staff Diversity Collaborative in 2020, which is composed of an interdepartmental group of resident and fellow physicians focused on providing support to underrepresented in medicine house staff members and creating a more inclusive learning environment.

The goals of the collaborative are to foster house staff professional and leadership development, provide mentorship and networking opportunities, and support outreach pipeline programming and recruitment.

Professional and leadership development opportunities are provided through career development seminars and panel discussions. Mentorship and networking opportunities with faculty are facilitated through formal and informal programming. Institutional and community outreach and pipeline programming is supported through collaboration with established groups.

The collaborative is encouraged to provide recommendations to build on current GME initiatives to increase diversity and ensure that house staff experiences across UI Health Care are equitable and inclusive.

Please contact gmeoffice@uiowa.edu if you are interested in getting involved.

2. Visiting electives

The Office of GME supports departmental efforts to diversify residency training programs within UI Health Care.

Some residency programs offer stipends to help subsidize expenses for visiting clerkship participants who are from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine.

The University of Iowa (UI) Underrepresented in Medicine Visiting Student Elective Program offers a stipend through a competitive application process to support 4-week visiting electives for medical students who are from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. Participating departments include Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry, Radiology, and Urology.

3. Initiatives to help trainees respond to microaggressions and harassment

A UI Health Care team of GME professionals has received an innovation grant from the American Medical Association as part of the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative. The grant, “Responding to Patient-Initiated Identity-Based Harassment: An Innovative Curriculum to Empower Residents and Faculty to Address Discrimination and Harassment in Clinical Training,” will be used to create educational resources that help providers address discriminatory behavior in clinical encounters.

Goals and objectives

Identify key gaps in knowledge pertaining to the prevalence and forms of identity-based, patient-initiated harassment and impact on the learning environment of resident physicians
Prepare resident physicians to respond effectively to patient-initiated harassment using a novel training program and toolkit of response strategies
Establish upstander training to address the important role of supervisors and colleagues in monitoring and responding to identity-based, patient-initiated harassment
Create a rigorous and sustainable train-the-trainer educational model to allow formal widespread institutional education on best practices for faculty and resident physicians on responding to identity-based harassment at critical points of entry into professional practice

6 in 10

As many as 60% of trainees will experience at least one form of harassment or discrimination during their medical training.

When bias is experienced, physicians are unlikely to document (25%) or report (less than 5-10%) these incidents.

The Office of GME has developed guidelines for managing patient and visitor harassment and discrimination of trainees.

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