The UNC School of Medicine appreciates the Task Force’s work, its feedback, and recommendations. The recommendations were received and reviewed, andthis status reportincludes important context relative to those recommendations.
Introduction to the Task Force
In recognizing the importance of preparing students and trainees to improve health equity and reduce health disparities, Dr. Julie Byerley, former Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, convened the Task Force for Integrating Social Justice into the Curriculum in October 2020 and gave it four charges.
Report recommendations on the learning environment, faculty development, and curricular innovation regarding social justice topics to the Education Leadership Committee.
Establish clear goals, strategies, action steps, metrics, and outcomes for enhancement of integration of social justice into the medical school curriculum and create recommendations to submit to the Education Committee for consideration.
Specify the anti-racism components to the curricular pieces proposed.
Identify other key partners within UNC SOM, expand the task force, and work collaboratively with those partners to make recommendations on best approaches to integrating social justice into the curricula for graduate medical education, allied health, and biological and biomedical graduate programs.
The Task Force used a multifaceted approach to achieve its goal and recruited a diverse group of individuals for the sake of equity and inclusion. By recruiting a diverse group and using a concentric ring structure of leadership, we aimed to distribute power to all participants and allow thoughts to flow in all directions among members.
The first ring of participants was a core team made up of four individuals who were well connected to theory and practice of their respective areas, and who understood the administrative processes necessary to integrate social justice into the curriculum. The second ring was the leadership team, which included content-experts in the areas of the learning environment, curriculum, and faculty development. The third ring included the entire task force, which was composed of administrators, faculty, staff, and students who were involved in this work and could move it forward within the school. The last ring was the School of Medicine student community, in which task force members hosted town halls to keep individuals apprised of what we were doing and to receive their feedback.
The leadership team identified three key areas that would require systemic change in order to effectively integrate social justice into the medical curriculum:
the learning environment,
curricular innovation, and
The task force was divided into three workgroups, each of which focused on developing recommendations in one of these three areas.
Task Force Members
E. Nathan Thomas III, PhD
Social Justice Strategist
Stephanie Brown, PhD, MA
Co-chair for Medical Curriculum
Alexa Mieses Malchuk, MD, MPH
Co-chair for Medical Curriculum
Emily Vander Schaaf, MD, MPH
Georgette Dent, MD
Claudis Polk, MA
O’Rese Knight, MD
Casey Olm Shipman, MD, MS
Neva Howard, MD, MS
Johanna Foster, MPA
Raul Necochea, PhD
Beat Steiner, MD, MPH
Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD
Brenda Mitchell, PhD
Raj Telhan, MD, MFA
Rasheeda Monroe, MD
Julia Draper, MPH
Leadership team: Provided direction for the task force
Chair: E. Nathan Thomas III, PhD, Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Social Justice Strategist: Stephanie Brown, PhD, MA, Strategic Manager for the Office of Inclusive Excellence
Co-chair for Medical Curriculum: Alexa Mieses Malchuk, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Co-director of Curricular Innovation for Health Equity
Co-chair for Medical Curriculum: Emily Vander Schaaf, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Co-director of Curricular Innovation for Health Equity
Sub leads (small groups):
Learning Environment Lead: Georgette Dent, MD, Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Curricular Innovation Lead: Neva Howard, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Director of Learning Innovations
Faculty Development Lead: Beat Steiner, MD, MPH, Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education
Large group: Task Force
Faculty Development – Beat Steiner
Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD, MSc, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Social Medicine Director, Center for Health Equity Research Professor, Internal Medicine
Brenda Mitchell, PhD Associate, Professor, Associate Chair of Department of Allied Health Sciences Office of Student Services and AHEC Operations
Raj Telhan, MD, MFA, Clinical Assistant Professor
Rasheeda Monroe, MD, Wake Med Physician Practices
Julia Draper, MPH, Medical Student
Learning Environment – Georgette Dent
Claudis Polk, MA, Director, Office of Scholastic Enrichment and Equity Dorian Burton, EdLD, Philanthropy Executive at Kenan Family Foundation
O’Rese Knight, MD, Assistant Professor
Alexis Flen, Medical Student, Paul Godley Scholar
Casey Olm Shipman, MD, MS, Assistant Professor
Curriculum Innovation – Neva Howard
Johanna Foster, MPA Senior Director of Academic AffairsGary Beck Dallaghan, PhD, Director of Educational Scholarship
Raul Necochea, PhD, Associate Professor
Quinta Fernandes, Medical Student, Paul Godley Scholar