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In January, Paul Godley, MD, PhD, MPP, was named the UNC School of Medicine’s first Vice Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. In this role, he leads the new Office of Inclusive Excellence.

Godley’s role will focus on increasing diversity across the School of Medicine at the student, resident and faculty level.

The UNC School of Medicine has, over the last several years, established itself as a national leader in diversity amongst the student body. In fact, UNC ranks in the 99thpercentile nationally for the number of African American graduates and one-third of the UNC SOM Class of 2020 come from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in medicine.

“We have been successful in recruiting a diverse student body, so now we need to translate that success to residents and, ultimately, faculty,” Godley says. “That’s the goal we are working toward.”

It is important, Godley says, to foster diversity along the full pipeline from medical students to residents and ultimately through to faculty. An emphasis will be placed on increasing the number of residents and faculty members from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine and also on providing a supportive and inclusive environment that colleagues will recommend to one another as a “destination of choice.”