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Diversity Community Conversation

Marc Nivet, Ed. D.
Chief Diversity Officer, AAMC
April 4, 2011

Now is a rare moment in time to think critically…adding inclusion piece instead of just tolerance…
Innovation in health care delivery

Diversity 3.0
Put diversity into the strategic plan…

  • All diversity should mean is differences…define broadly
  • Culture of inclusion
  • Fuel that animates and makes use of diversity is organizational performance improvement.
  • Have to be innovative
  • Does diversity and inclusion accelerate the path to excellence? YES
  • Previously we were limited to symbolic frame
  • Social justice, the right thing to do was why we wanted diversity
  • Now, can we ask a different question?
  • Can we harness diversity to improve our work outcomes?
  • Need metrics and capacity
  • Leadership capacity

“Changing the face of medicine”…demographic changes only…not the outcome we really care about
Beyond race and ethnicity now

Lagging indicator…improving the health of the country

  • Broad determinants of health
  • Broadening what we think about as health
  • Looking at the science of delivery and community engagement…the full spectrum

Scott Page…The Difference
An economist…research of putting different people in groups…leading to a better cognitive outcome despite initial troubles of engagement in small group

Symbolism is important – don’t ignore those prior goals – but do more

  • What to do?
  • Question why we are passive recipients of what comes to us….
  • Think of the supply chain not just a pipeline…supply chain management
  • (Importance of algebra in the 7th grade)
  • Though we won’t be rewarded for that work directly, it will improve outcomes

Admissions work….there is a line whether written down or not…consider holistic interviews after the cut (for example, 24-34 on MCAT all become graduates – could we benefit from more 20s than 30’s?)

  • Measure of an excellent institution to take lower and make great
  • We fool ourselves into calling ourselves excellent when what enters is excellent…we are measuring the wrong thing
  • We should try to recruit who has the capacity to be an excellent physician….not who can get out of our schools

  • Meet our mission…customize who we take beyond scores
  • Celebrate different successes – best in breed
  • Meeting their mission should be viewed as fantastic (ex: Morehouse vs. Stanford, very different goals, both can be superb based on success achieving their goals)

  • Processing is the goal of medical education…taking complex information
  • Regurgitating information is not going to work
  • Try to assess who can think

Problems posed to groups..teaming to solve a problem, invitational rhetoric

  • Comparing to state that a reasonable goal, too low, too high?
  • Population parity doesn’t hold in supreme court decision with Michigan
  • Not a goal
  • Merely population parity is the mindset of racial concordance…AA patients need AA doctors….that doesn’t make sense
  • Done with best intentions but doesn’t make sense
  • Limits the argument of differences
  • Team based sciences literature shows diversity helps

Qualitative difference we are trying to prove occurs….

Vibrancy is a goal

  • Improve the atmosphere for faculty diversity
  • Instead of recruitment and retention move to “attraction and thriving” – how do we attract people and make sure they thrive
  • Gas mask phenomenon…we give people skills to function in a toxic environment. Instead, fix the toxicity so you don’t need a gas mask.
  • Climate survey – usually shows minorities to be unhappy because they are not inoculated
  • Should do a culture survey….why do you feel what you feel
  • “You remind me of me 20 years ago”….leads to academic career…the importance of role models
  • Think about it early in their career
  • Problem of role models that say “don’t do what I do”
  • Become more proactive in recruiting faculty earlier